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The True and 
HE False Pacifism 


Minister of State, 
Vice-President of the Belgian Senate, 
Professor of the University of Brussels 




Walter Clinton Jackson Library 

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro 

Special Collections & Rare Books 

World War I Pamphlet Collection 


Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

Lyrasis IVIembers and Sloan Foundation 




Minister of State, 
Vice-President of the 'Belgian Senate, 
Professor of the University of 'Prussels 



J^'rinted in Great Britain by The Menpes Printing 6- Engraving Co. Ltd 
Craven House, Kingsway, London. W.C.2. 






TOWARDS the end of the Second 
Empire, in Western Europe and par- 
ticularly in France, a flood of generous 
ideas was surging through the hearts of 
men. Everywhere the new generation was 
captured by the wish not only to introduce 
into national institutions "the necessary 
liberties" (as they were called) which the 
Declaration of the rights of man and of the 
citizen had sanctified, but also to realise, 
in international affairs, the dreams of 
universal brotherhood and disarmament. 
In 1869 the Ligue internationale de la Paix, 
founded in Paris two years earlier, had 
resolved to award a prize of some value for 
the best essay on — or, rather, against — the 
crime of war, and, after having settled 
the terms of this competition, had nomi- 
nated a jury of three men for whom all 
pacifists entertained the highest esteem. 
These men were Frederic Passy, Edouard 
Laboulaye, and Augustin Renouard. 


A young man, a student of law at the 
University of Brussels, at once, with the 
audacity of his age, became a competitor. 
The jury, having received some sixty 
essays — many of them rather considerable 
affairs — was still far from the end of its 
labours, when from a clear sky there fell 
the thunderbolt of the war of 1870, followed 
by the insurrection of the Commune. The 
student of Brussels had almost dismissed 
the thought of his manuscript from his 
mind, when, in the spring of 1872, he 
learnt that the jury, having faithfully 
resumed its work, had awarded the prize 
between three competitors, and that he 
was one of those successful persons. The 
members of the jury invited him, more- 
over, to publish his work, the tone of which 
its title, "Disarm or. Perish," sufficiently 
suggests. In it the author unreservedly 
recommended disarmament, not neces- 
sarily by the nations acting together and 
in agreement, but through the birth of a 
spontaneous, instant, and unrecompensed 
movement among all those peoples 
longing to rid themselves of that rivalry in 
military preparedness which — already at 
that time — appeared to be urging Europe, 


without hope of escape, towards a speedy 
economic and moral bankruptcy. 

A very natural scruple made him hesi- 
tate to agree to this publication. By the 
events of the two preceding years he had 
been led to think very differently about 
the expediency and even the feasibility of 
the solution which he had recommended in 
his essay. He found himself faced by the 
dilemma, either, by altering his original 
text, to act improperly towards the jury or 
to be untrue to himself in publishing a 
work to the conclusions of which he could 
no longer subscribe. He caused it therefore 
to be printed as it stood and under its 
original title ; but added, with the per- 
mission of the jury, an appendix in which 
he frankly acknowledged the change which 
the teaching of events had wrought in his 
opinions. He admitted that he had 
reckoned too confidently upon the imme- 
diate appearance of a general movement in 
favour of universal disarmament. But con- 
sidering that there was no reason to 
despair of the future, he added that "the 
sole result of this disillusionment should be 
to clothe henceforward with a greater 


importance the study of practical methods 
and even the search for remedies admittedly 
incomplete, which may serve at least to 
import into our international relationships 
reforms which are necessary, if our modern 
civilisation is to be saved from a long 
period of decay and European society from 
the ruin which directly threatens it." 

Admitting, then, the impossibility of 
bringing this to pass solely through the 
advance of public opinion, he demanded, 
as the one and final remedy, the introduc- 
tion into international relationships of 
those institutions upon which the harmony 
of every society that is organised upon a 
basis of law depends. "How to put an end 
to war," he wrote, "is only the negative 
side of the problem. To make the inter- 
course of nations subject to the rule of 
law> this is the essential object that we 
must set before ourselves." To-day the 
writer has grown white in the service of 
this cause ; but he holds to this conclusion 
more strongly than ever ; and it is this 
that has given him courage to discuss the 
question here, after forty-five years, in the 


light of the tragic occurrences which the 
present hours is witnessing. 

The moment may seem ill-chosen for 
speaking of Pacifism. But it is necessary 
to distinguish between those dreams or 
projects which shelter themselves behind 
this new word and those hopes which must 
end by triumphing, if the progress of 
human society is not a delusion. Mean- 
while, I will try to show that the place of 
the true pacifist is among those who are 
resolved to continue the war up to the 
decisive victory of the allied nations, in 
order to maintain against the assaults of 
Pan-Germanism the cause of the right and 
of European liberty. 

Every war has for its object not war 
in itself — not even victory — but peace. 

From the very beginning of hostilities it 
has been clear that the drama in which the 
destinies of Europe are to-da}'' at stake is 
susceptible alone of one of three solutions — 
a German peace, an indecisive peace, a 
lasting peace. 

The first of these does not merit the 


trouble of examination. The Germans 
themselves have, as a matter of fact, 
ceased to believe in it, as is shown by the 
proposals of the Kaiser. If we are still 
forced to think about it, it is that we may 
not lose sight of the dangers with which 
such a peace must have threatened the 
world or of the guarantees which we must 
secure, if our future is to be free from these 

The second still menaces our immediate 
future, in spite of the failure of those over- 
tures to which I have referred. It would 
be simply to restore the status quo ante 
helium, and to annul the contest without 
annexation or indemnity for either side, 
according to the cherished formula of 
certain people whose foresight is superficial 
or whose sympathies are secretly pro- 
German. With all my force I entreat the 
real pacifists, of every land and of every 
school, resolutely to dismiss this idea from 
their minds, and definitely to exclude it 
from among the possibilities of our future. 

The third, which shines before our eyes, 
at the end of the struggle, as the reward of 


cur persistence and the warrant for our 
sacrifices, is also the only peace which will 
enable us to heal our wounds, to ensure the 
triumph of right and perhaps to direct the 
nations towards a new and higher stage of 

It is, of course, understood that the 
opinions which I publish here are entirely 
personal, and that for them the responsi- 
bility is wholly my own. 


Chapter Page 

I. Who is Responsible for the Present War 

AND What is at Stake? i 

II. The Birth of Pan-Germanism i6 

III. The Progress and Aims of German Militarism 27 

IV. The Movement towards International 

V. Some Illusions entertained by Germany 

VI. Pacifism and an Indecisive Peace ... 

VH. A Durable Peace 

VIII. A Definitive Peace 







Who is Responsible for the Present War 
AND What is at Stake ? 

WHEN, about the end of the nineteenth 
century, one of the last kings of Dahomey 
died, the sacriiice of several thousand 
negroes, in order to provide him with an escort 
into the other world, evoked a cry of horror and 
indignation from the whole of civilised society. 
The murder of the Archduke Ferdinand of Austria 
and his wife has been made the pretext for bloody 
sacrifices of a very different kind. Millions of men 
have died — a holocaust to the demon of war — and 
we are far from beholding the end of this dismal 
slaughter. The victims who have fallen in battle, 
even if we add to their number that of the civilians 
who have been massacred or shot by the Germans, 
are no more than one part, immense though it be, 
of the losses which have been caused by the 
revolver shots of Serajevo. We must also reckon 
the destruction that the pillage and burning of 
towns has wrought, the devastation of whole 
countrysides, the torpedoing of ships, the closing 
of factories, the interruption of business, and the 
war expenses of every nature. At the present 
moment there are in Europe more than twenty 
million of men who, in order that they may kill 
one another, must be equipped, carried here and 


there, and fed ; other milhons of workers, more or 
less under mihtary discipHne, whose only task is 
to furnish the first with the means of mutual 
destruction, though formerly these workmen 
were producing things, useful to society, which 
were capable of continually accelerating 
humanity's welfare. Science, forgetting her 
true mission, has now no object but to 
multiply and perfect the agencies of massacre 
and destruction. The odious practices of 
general deportation and slaver}' have been 
restored to honour by one group of belligerents. 
What shall we say of all the mental sufferings, of 
the sorrow that the dispersal of families has 
occasioned, of the terror that never ends while 
those we love are in danger, of the emptiness that 
every irreparable loss must leave behind it ? Not 
even the neutral nations are secure from the 
effects of this upheaval that is shaking the world, 
and we cannot, without alarm, ask ourselves what 
will remain for the victors, as well as for the 
vanquished, and even for some of the spectators 
of this tragedy, if it is only capable of being ended by 
the mutual exhaustion of combatants whom their 
madness shall have urged to the point of suicide. 
Confronted by such an accumulation of dis- 
asters, for which not the blind forces of nature 
— vast epidemics or earthquakes — but the weak- 
nesses and wickednesses of mankind are respon- 
sible, what may these do, who have not lost all 
feelings of humanity, but demand, cost what it 
may, the instant extinction of a conflagration, 
which recalls the most horrifying visions of the 


Apocalypse ? Is not the time at hand for Hstening 
to those counsels which, whether they be dis- 
interested or no, have implored the belligerents, 
in the name both of Christian brotherhood and a 
threatened civilisation, to lay down their arms 
and offer their hands to one another, even on a 
half-hearted compromise between the unjustifiable 
ambitions of the one party and the legitimate 
complaints of its adversaries ? 

In reply to these suggestions, which, skilfully 
exploited in certain quarters, might become the 
causes of an undesirable weakness, it is right to 
observe that there are wars which can be defended 
and sacrifices which may not be evaded ; in other 
words, that there are times when the duty to take 
up arms may not rightfully be neglected. So long 
as men ■ are not angels, and they are still a long 
way from that — though, whatever we may say, 
they are a little nearer to it than were their 
ancestors in the remote periods of antiquity — -the 
employment of force will continue to be indis- 
pensable if the rule of law is to be guaranteed. 
This axiom is justified by civil society, where the 
police and even the Army will always be required 
if the Bonnots and Garniers are to be dealt with 
successfully ; it is no less a foundation-stone of 
international society, which also has its anarchists 
and its bravoes. No doubt diplomatists and 
journalists understand the art of juggling with 
facts so well that it is not always easy to perceive 
where the true aggressor is to be found ; and, 
again, how often it happens that the blame must 
be borne by more than one party ! History alone, 


judging from a distance, is able to distinguish the 
intention under the act, the aim under the excuse ; 
she cannot, moreover, but be impartial. 

But in the present war no mistake is possible, 
since the aggressors have here revealed themselves 
with a frankness which can only be called cynicism, 
unless we regard it as the result of a positive 
moral infection. 

Anyone must be convinced who will read, 
without prejudice, those collections of documents, 
with their variously coloured covers, in which the 
belligerents have made public their negotiations 
previous to the outbreak of war.* 

Here it is made absolutely clear that the war 
was willed and predetermined by the Central 
Empires, and that in this drama Austria was 
simply an instrument of German policy ; while 
England, France, and Russia spared neither their 
advice, nor their proposals, nor their labour, in 
order to secure a peaceful solution for the Austro- 
Serbian quarrel. I will only remind my readers 
that Serbia, at the earnest request of the Powers 
of the Triple Entente, and to the general relief of 
Europe, had instantly accepted, as early as the 

* Nearly all the colours of the rainbow have been caUed 
into service. There are the Blue Books of England and 
Serbia, the Yellow Book of France, the Grey Book of Belgium, 
the Orange Books of Russia and Holland, the Green Book of 
Italy, the White Book of Germany, the Red Book of Austria- 
Hungary. Several digests of these negotiations have been 
pubhshed, among which we can particularly recommend : — 
P. Saintyves, Les responsahiliies de rAllemagne dans la 
guerre de 1914. i vol. Paris : Nourry, 1915. — Waxweiler, 
La Belgique neutre et loyale. Paris : Payot, 1915. — E. Denis 
La Guerre, Causes immediates et lointaines. Paris : Delagrave 


25th of July, eight of the ten conditions of the 
Austrian ultimatum of the 23rd of July, 1914, 
reserving her consent to two only, as being more 
humiliating than her independence and dignity 
could tolerate ; and even with regard to these 
she offered to submit herself to the arbitration 
and judgment of The Hague Tribunal. For sole 
response Austria severed diplomatic relations with 
her neighbour, and commenced hostilities against 
her. Russia, who could not look on unmoved at 
the destruction of a small Slav kingdom, asked 
only that Austria should suspend hostilities, and 
should recognise that her conflict with Serbia 
must threaten the peace of Europe. 

The British Government, upon its side, between 
the 23rd of July and the 3rd of August gave 
instructions to its Ministers at Vienna, Berlin, 
Petrograd, Belgrade, Rome, Paris, to offer the 
following solutions of the difficulty : — (i) A con- 
ference of the four great Powers not directly 
concerned (that is to say, Germany, Italy, France, 
and England) ; (2) the mediation of England and 
Italy ; (3) the opening of direct negotiations 
between Austria and Russia ; lastly (4), even 
when the Austrian guns were already bombarding 
Belgrade, any plan which Germany might suggest 
for procuring a suspension of hostilities. These 
offers met with nothing but a refusal or silence 
from Austria, while from Germany only evasive 
replies were obtained. 

But now, on the 29th of July (the very day 
when the bombardment of Belgrade was begun), 
the Vienna Cabinet, seized perhaps by hesitation 


upon the edge of the abyss — unless this was yet 
another diplomatic comedy arranged with Berlin 
— announced that it was ready to accept what it 
had up till then rejected — namely, to enter into 
negotiations with Russia upon the subject of the 
Serbian question. It declared that its refusal was 
the result of a misunderstanding, and authorised 
its ambassador. Count Szapary, "to discuss what 
arrangements would be consistent with that 
dignity and that prestige which the two empires 
are equally bound to safeguard." At the same 
time, it gave London to understand that its 
Government had no intention of attacking the 
sovereign rights of Serbia nor of seeking ^any 
extension of territory. 

This was peace. 

At once Germany, throwing aside the mask, and 
forcing the crisis, sent to Petrograd, on the evening 
of the 31st of July, an ultimatum which called upon 
the Russian Government to stop, within twenty- 
four hours, the partial mobilisation which it had 
begun in reply to the Austrian mobilisation. 

And it was war. 

Nor is it without importance to recall that, two 
days earlier, the Tsar had sent to William II a 
personal telegram in which, after having once 
more proposed that the quarrel between Austria 
and Serbia should be referred to The Hague 
Tribunal, he added : "I have confidence in your 
discretion and your friendship." The reply was 
the ultimatum, followed by the declaration of 
war, which Germany made against Russia on the 
ist of August. 


At the same time, Germany called upon the 
French Government to declare what would be its 
attitude in case of a rupture between Russia and 
Germany. France having replied that she must 
be guided by her own interests, Germany, on the 
3rd of August, sent her also a declaration of war. 

On the other hand, the Cabinet at Berlin, 
reckoning on the unwillingness of England to 
take part in a continental war, had, on the 
29th of July, caused the Chancellor to propose 
to Sir E. Goschen, the English Ambassador, 
that if Great Britain would agree to remain 
neutral, Germany would promise to attempt no 
territorial extension in Europe to the detriment of 
France and would respect, on her part, the 
neutrality of Holland. Asked if these promises 
applied to the French colonies, the Chancellor 
replied that he was "unable to give a similar 
undertaking in that respect ; it depended upon 
the action of France what operations Germany 
might be forced to enter upon in Belgium" ; 
adding that ''after the war the integrity of 
Belgium would be re-established if she had not 
sided against Germany." This was nothing less 
than to proclaim the intention of laying hands 
upon the French colonies and of eventually 
violating the neutrality of Belgium, Sir Edward 
Grey replied that to accept that bargain would be 
a disgrace "from which the good name of his 
country would never recover." He added, never- 
theless, these words, which, since they clearly 
indicate what was in his mind, deserve to be 
remembered: "If the peace of Europe can be 


preserved and the present crisis safely passed, my 
own endeavour will be to promote some arrange- 
ment to which Germany could ' be a party, by 
which could be assured that no aggressive or 
hostile policy would be pursued against_her or 
her allies either by France, Russia, and ourselves, 
jointly or separately/' 

As has been said, b}^ the German author of 
J' Accuse — written at the beginning of the war, 
and one of the most tremendous indictments 
issued against the policy of Germany — if the 
Germans had consented to enter upon this path, 
or even to negotiate upon this basis, a treaty 
might have resulted w^hich would have "assured 
a condition of peace in Europe, would have 
brought about an understanding between the 
Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente, and, in 
place of the system of this balance of power, 
would have established a general league of peace. 
In one word, the prospect would have been opened 
of a new and better Europe, had Germany but 
accepted the hand which England stretched out 
to her."* 

But for this it was necessary that Germany 
should not have been Germany. Herr Bethmann- 
Hollweg abstained even from replying. 

England, however, desiring at least to keep the 
scope of the war within bounds, renewed the 
attempt which she had successfully made in 1870, 
when at the same time she requested both the 
belligerents to undertake to respect the neutrality 
of Belgium. This time France again, on the 

* J' Accuse, by a German, 1915, p. 124. 


31st of July, answered affirmatively without 
any equivocation or reservation. As for 
Germany, who, in spite of her promises, 
was at this very moment preparing to 
invade the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, 
she announced, on the ist of August, that she 
could not give any reply, since this would be to 
expose her plan of campaign to the French 
Government ; and on the following day she sent 
her shameful demand to Brussels. It is useless to 
recall how the King and the Government of 
Belgium, supported by the unanimous opinion of 
both Parliament and public, gave to this viola- 
tion of a solemn undertaking the reception which 
it deserved, fully aware though they were of the 
danger that lies in resistance to superior force. 
Their reply, prepared during the night of the 
2nd of August, was sent to Berlin on the 3rd. In 
it they pointed out that the treaty of 1839, con- 
firmed by the treaties of 1870, ensured the inde- 
pendence and neutrality of Belgium under the 
guarantees of the Great Powers, and particularly 
of the Prussian Government. They declared that 
Belgium had always been faithful to her inter- 
national obligations, and that she had spared no 
pains to preserve her neutrality. "The attack 
upon her independence, with which the German 
Government threatens her," it was added, "would 
■constitute a flagrant violation of international 
law. No strategic interest justifies such a viola- 
tion. The Belgian Government, should it accept 
the proposals which have been made to it, 
would sacrifice the honour of its country and 


would, at the same time, betray the trust which is 
reposed in it by Europe." 

However, as earty as the 3rd of August, France 
had offered the support of her forces to Belgium. 
But they had just learned at Brussels that 
England had attempted to open a last negotiation 
with Germany, to prevent her from acting upon 
her ultimatum. It was only when, on the 4th of 
August, the Belgian Government received the 
news of the entry of the German troops into 
Belgian territory that it issued an appeal to the 
Powers who had guaranteed the neutrality of 
Belgium, with the object of obtaining military 
assistance from them. Germany had replied to 
the English Cabinet that it was too late, and 
that the German forces had already entered 
Belgium. And von Jagow, in one of his last 
conversations with Sir E. Goschen, did not 
hesitate to declare that this violation of Belgian 
neutrality had been forced upon the Germans by 
the necessity of taking the more direct and con- 
venient road to France, in order to hasten the 
operations and to strike a decisive blow before 
Russia should be able to put her troops into the 
field. It was during a conversation with the 
Chancellor, later in the same day, that the 
cynical words were spoken: "What! You are 
going to fight for a scrap of paper ! " And the 
same day, also, Herr von Bethmann-HoUweg, in 
the well-known speech to the Reichstag, in which 
he admitted that the invasion of Belgium was a 
violation of the principles of international law, 
declared, with a frankness which he has since 


regretted: "France was able to wait. We were 
not. A French attack upon our flank in the region 
of the Lower Rhine might have proved fatal. It 
is for this reason that we have been forced to 
ignore the just protestations of the Governments 
of Luxemburg and Belgium." No one, then, has 
been astonished that, in these circumstances, the 
Powers of the Entente have on many occasions 
declared that they will never conclude the war 
until they shall first have ensured the restoration 
and indemnification of Belgium.* 

Is it necessary to add that the facts of 
the case provide a wholly sufficient reply to all 
the quibbles oi Germany ? She had long been 
ready ; not one of her adversaries was so ; they 
were conscious of it, and it is not thus that 
one embarks upon an aggression. France, whom, 
for lack of better excuse, Germany has accused of 
having taken the first step, was so anxious to 
avoid the conflict that, even after the declaration 
of war, she withheld her troops at a distance of 
ten kilometres from German territory, in order 
that thus she might prevent the occurrence of 
these frontier incidents b}^ which the interests of 
Germany alone could be served. Moreover, the 
French mobilisation was only wholly completed at 
the end of August, and that of Russia at the end of 
September. As for England, her first contingents 
only landed on the Continent when the German 

* See particularly the text of the declaration made collec- 
tively to the Belgian Government at Sainte-Adresse, on the 
14th of February, 1916, by the Ministers of France, Great 
Britain, and Russia. 


invasion had already reached the heart of 
Belgium ; at the opening of hostilities she had no 
more forces to put in the field than the contingent 
which Germany scornfully described as "the con- 
temptible little Army of General French." The 
German Government has formally admitted this, 
when it declared so frankly, as I have recalled 
above, its plan to crush France, surprised by the 
rapidity of the invasion, in order thereafter to 
swing round eastwards and invade Russia, in her 
turn, before she should find time to collect her 

It is to break down an open door to insist 
further upon this question of responsibility, 
and, in face of her repeated declarations that 
force is above right and that necessity justifies all 
crimes, it would be futile to argue any longer 
upon this subject with the apologists of Germany. 
If she persists in her attempts to throw upon her 
adversaries the blame for having let loose the 
dogs of war — as onl}^ lately she tried to do in her 
Note of thei2th of December, 1916 — this is simply 
the result of one of these forms of hypocrisy 
which, according to Vauvenargues, are a compli- 
ment paid to virtue by vice, but which can have 
any effect only, at the outside, upon certain 
neutral countries who wish to remain deaf and 
blind. The cause is heard, and the judgment 
pronounced by the opinion of the world. 

Perhaps, however, it is not enough thus to fix 
the responsibility for the war if we are to over- 
come everywhere the faint-heartedness of those 
who, from lassitude, impatience, pity, or even 


selfishness, may be prepared to forget what has 
happened and to content themselves with a draw. 
It must never be forgotten how vitally the general 
interest of civilisation demands that this hideous 
drama of massacre and ruin, if we mean that it 
shall never recommence, should be ended 
radically, rationally, and equitably. To this end 
it is impossible too strongly to insist upon the 
character and scope of that which is at stake. 

To-day it is not, as in most of the wars of the 
past, a simple question of seizing or holding 
territory, of obtaining outlets for commerce or 
thrusting competitors aside, of satisfying a stifling 
national aspiration ; but rather of deciding if one 
Power shall be able to realise, for its own advan- 
tage, the dream of universal dominion, which has 
so often been cherished, so often disappointed. 
One may even say more : that what we have 
here to do with is a new ideal of life and 
humanity which Germany presumes to impose 
upon the world by force. The struggle is between 
civilisation and culture, to give to the latter word 
the sense with which the Germans have endowed 
it. Civilisation is a synthesis of ideas, institutions, 
and arts which unite to secure to the individual 
the greatest possible measure of liberty, enlight- 
enment, happiness, and morality. Kultur may 
be defined as the scientific organisation of all the 
national resources for the purpose of assuring the 
greatness of the vState. Civilisation is cosmo- 
politan and peaceful, though it is not inconsistent 
with the employment of force where justice 
demands it-. Kultur is national and narrow ; it 


rests upon force and imposes itself by war. The 
first is the common heritage of mankind, and all 
men, in so far as they are able, may freely enjoy 
it. The second varies with each race and each 
country, and its most powerful exponents claim 
the right to absorb the others, in obedience to the 
example which Nature offers us in the struggle 
for life. 

This contrast has been perceived by the 
Germans themselves. "Civilisation," writes 

Professor Lasson, in a pamphlet entitled Das 
Kultur Ideal und der Krieg, "makes for harmony. 
But civilisation is not Kultur. Among different 
kinds of Kultur there can only be conflict and 
hate ... To ask of them a peaceful develop- 
ment is to ask the impossible, to reverse the order 
of Nature, to set up a false idol in the place of 
true morality." Another writer of the same school, 
Thomas Mann, who defines Kultur as "a spiritual 
organisation of the world," after asserting that it 
outstrips morality, reason, and science, adds that 
"it will destroy civilisation." This is not simply a 
question of words. Those who defend civilisation 
fight for law, which they proclaim the superior of 
force. The avowed partisans of Kultur fight for 
their law, which they base upon their force. The 
Allies have gone to war for the freedom of Europe, 
for the rights of nations, great and small alike, to 
work out their own destinies and to sun them- 
selves in the rays of their common civilisation. 
Germany fights for the enslavement or the 
annihilation of all who place themselves in the 
path of her Kultur. The Allies are doing battle for 


peace — a lasting peace — founded upon respect for 
treaties and the full development of international 
law. Germany is at war for war, which she would 
make the law of humanity and the mainspring 
of progress. "You must love peace as the means 
of war, and the short peace better than the long." 
So speaks Zarathustra — or, rather, Nietzsche. 

We see, then, that we have here two schools of 
thought which are absolutely contradictory. It is 
this struggle of two ideals which, far more than 
the number of the combatants or the appearance 
of new methods of warfare, gives to the present 
war upon either side a special significance, an 
exceptional character, a kind of epic splendour, 
and even a quality of mysticism such as Europe 
has not witnessed since the time of the Crusades 
or perhaps the revolutionary wars of France, 
when each combatant understood that he risked 
his life for an object that was above individual 
interests and even immediate national considera- 

It is thus that we may explain the instant 
disappearance, in each belligerent country, of 
every sort of political, religious, and social dissen- 
sion, as well as the stoical courage with which, 
everywhere, the heaviest sacrifices and the most 
grievous losses have been met. But at the same 
time we thus perceive why any premature peace 
is impossible, and why even a suggestion of 
immediate peace sounds, if it comes from outside, 
like an insult, and if from within, like a treachery. 


^The Birth of Pan-Germanism 

WITH the clearer understanding which is 
ours to-day of the tendencies of modern 
Germany and of the methods which her 
diplomacy pursued during the 3^ears precedent to 
the war, we are forced to conclude not only that 
the war was premeditated, but also that it was 
inevitable. The international policy of the German 
Empire could have no other result ; the Serajevo 
murders were no more than a pretext, the excuse 
more and more impatiently awaited. Whatever 
ma}^ have been said about it, and in spite of the 
disastrous recurrence of primitive tendencies, 
the German race, taken as a whole, was not a 
century ago what it is to-day. What has been able 
to transform a people who were honest, peaceable, 
even dreamy, into a nation of prey, the perfect 
type of a military societ}^ ? We have looked for 
the secret of this evolution in the influence of that 
Prussian militarism, which has become the means 
and the symbol of national unity ; in the outgrowth 
of the idea of the State ; in the habit of passive 
discipline ; in material greed, excited by the 
outburst of prosperity, both industrial and com- 
mercial, which followed upon the victory of 1870. 
Each of these factors has had its share in the 
result. But the primar}/ cause is intellectual and 
moral. Writers of the first ability, and of differing 
schools of opinion — Messieurs Bergson, Boutroux, 



de Wulf, Lasserre, to mention no more — have 
shown, in many carefully considered essays, how 
the conception which Germany has formed of her 
necessary role in the world, as well as the choice of 
the means which she has put into operation in 
order to realise it, are both bound up with the 
development of her philosophy from Fichte to 
Nietzsche by way of Hegel. 

Through having identified the absolute with 
the ego, the false disciples of Kant ended by 
absorbing the ego in the absolute and, by logical 
sequence, the individual in the State, considered 
as the chief manifestation in this world of 
divinity. The State has therefore all rights but 
no duties, except to itself. It is required to 
advance within itself the natural culture and to 
spread it abroad indefinitely, by peaceful methods 
if possible, by force if necessary ; everything in 
the life of its citizens must be subordinated to 
this object. Now, the German Kultur is superior 
to all other forms ; it is the culture par excellence ; 
hence its indisputable title to the conquest of the 

No doubt the school of German metaphysics 
lost a great deal of ground, during the last 
century, before the advance of experimental 
science. But the genius of Germany has 
once again shown with what cleverness it can 
assimilate everything, in the various develop- 
ments of philosophy and of exact science, that 
is capable of strengthening its pretensions to the 
hegemony of the world. 

From Darwinism it has taken the theory of 


"the survival of the fittest," accepting as its 
exclusive test of fitness the emplo5'^ment of 
material force. From the theory of evolution 
— which its chief exponent, Herbert Spencer, has 
carried to the farthest point of political and 
social individualism — it has borrowed the fatal 
character of those natural laws which aim at 
making of human society an organism more and 
more perfectly organised. From agnosticism and 
materialism it has retained the denial of duty, 
with the exception of that respect which is to be 
paid to such commands as the State has ordained 
for its own preservation. Lastly, from Nietzsche it 
has acquired the doctrine that the purpose of life 
is not happiness, not morality, not even tran- 
quillity, but dominance secured by conflict and 
maintained by force. 

Thus has come into being the creed of Pan- 
Germanism, which has soon taken a practical turn 
by throwing itself into the conquest of the 
world along the threefold road of commercial 
penetration, diplomatic intrigue, and military 

Philology, ethnography, and history have each 
contributed its stone to the edifice thus prepared, 
the first two by propounding the theory that, in 
the purit}^ of its language and the structure of its 
skull, the German people declares itself the fore- 
most of human races ; the third, by founding 
upon the vindication of force a whole philosophy 
of the historical development of nations. Treit- 
schke, who was a professor of history, and exer- 
cised a vast influence throughout Germany, 


teaches that war is the source of all the virile 
virtues ; that war alone is the arbiter of legiti- 
macy ; and that the weak nations must inevitably 
be absorbed by those which are stronger than 
themselves. This theory, which lays stress upon 
the rapid development of Germany, and particu- 
larly of the Prussian Monarchy, had already been 
enunciated by Lasson, who, in 1868, maintained, 
in the pamphlet which I have cited above, that 
respect for treaties is not a question of right, but 
of interest. "The weak," he adds, "is, in spite of 
treaties, the prey of the strongest from the 
moment when the latter wills it and has the 
necessary power." We see whose authority was 
behind Herr von Bethmann-Hollweg when in the 
Reichstag, on the 4th of August, 1914, he excused 
himself, by the axiom "necessity makes law^" for 
that which he admitted was a violation of inter- 
national law. Lasson, who in his professional 
capacity sets himself above political events, con- 
cludes more frankly by this most Hegelian reflec- 
tion : "This state of things may even be called 
moral, since it is rational." 

It is a matter of course that in all these authors- 
historians as well as philosophers — modern Ger- 
many is privileged to represent the perfection of 
culture. Even Fichte announced that the other 
peoples are not nations ; that they are to Ger- 
many what the non-ego is to the ego. It would 
be wrong to suppose that when they dream of 
extending their dominion over the entire globe 
the Germans are acting in obedience to purely 
selfish motives. It is with the utmost good faith 


that they imagine themselves to have received a 
mission from the hands of Providence. They 
consider themselves to be a chosen people, 
exactly as did the Israelites of former times, 
peculiarly destined for the sacred work of 
regenerating the world by forcing upon it their 
culture. They have discovered no smallest 
difficulty in identifying themselves with the 
superman of Nietzsche. "We are not only men," 
writes Schonerer, "we are more than that, since 
we are Germans." And so no one in Germany 
thinks fit to smile when in his speech at Bremen, 
on the 23rd of March, 1905, William II sa3's to 
his enthusiastic auditors : "We are the salt of the 
earth. God has called us to regenerate the world. 
We are the apostles of progress."* 

After what has been said, we can understand 
that every attempt to thwart the demands of 
German culture and, above all, to resist them by 
armed force becomes an impious act, an act of 

* This is a form of Messianism which, with more or less 
success, has made its appearance periodically in the history 
of many races for thousands of years. We may add that this 
prevision of "supermen," being in advance of the humanity 
of their time, has nothing in it which rationally contradicts 
the teachings of science ; for science enables us to witness, in 
retrospect, a progressive evolution which there is no reason to 
suppose is finished so far as the gradual developments of 
matter, life, and spirit are concerned. The future will see, 
no doubt, men as superior to the homo sapiens as he is already 
to the earliest prehistoric flint -chippers. Nietzsche's mistake 
has been to look for his future supermen in the wrong direc- 
tion and to make of them, above everything, an incarnation 
of brutal strength. We must not feel too much surprise 
if the Germans have seen their own portrait in this creation 
of a diseased fancv. 


revolt, which merits chastisement. The Germans, 
indeed, attribute a punitive character to their 
mihtary expeditions, as does every nation which 
has imagined for itself a similar providential role. 
A professor of the University of Berlin, Herr 
Kohler, wrote in a recent pamphlet, Noth kennt 
kein Geboth (Necessity Knows no Law) : "Every 
sin has its punishment on earth ; the sins which 
States commit are chastised in this world. A 
heavy responsibility weighs upon the Belgian 
Government. We can only offer one excuse in 
their defence : they did not know Germany, the 
great, the noble, the unique." Better still — and 
here the fanaticism of Kultur enters the region of 
the grotesque — in a volume where Major Victor 
von Strantz gives his personal impressions of the 
conquest of Belgium, Die Eroberung Belgiens 
(1914), we may read this apostrophe to the Belgian 
people : "And so you come, presumptuous little 
nation, to stop us ; 3'Ou to whom we have pro- 
mised peace and protection if you raise no 
obstacle to our mighty work ! And so you make 
common cause with our enemies ! It is as if vou 
were to attack a priest who carries the Holy of 
Holies. We are made sacred by the greatness of 
our destiny." 

In Germany, literature and art recognise hence- 
forth as their highest aim not co-operation for the 
advancement and adornment of civilisation, but 
solely the increase of Germany's splendour. And 
so we need not be surprised that, constructed by 
a narrow-minded nationalism, the intellectual 
progress of the country has been greatly retarded, 


to judge at least, if not from the number, then 
from the quahty of recent original productions. 
In aesthetics the cult of the colossal has replaced 
the attempt to attain beauty, and even in music 
we see that Wagner has had no successor. I have 
just considered the present state of philosophy 
and history. In all these realms of art and science 
Germany is reduced to living on her past. 

In order to judge of the degree to which this 
madness can attain, it is enough to re-read the 
distressing manifesto in which ninety-three intel- 
lectuals, announcing themselves, and not without 
reason, as the cream of German science and art, 
endeavoured in November, 1914, to justify the 
invasion of Belgium and the conduct of the 
German troops in the invaded territory. We 
stand amazed to find, below assertions so opposed 
to the evidence of fact, the signatures of men 
whom we had learned to admire and to follow, 
for the breadth of their knowledge, the force of 
their method, and the honesty of their criticism. 
If this is not the bankruptcy of German science 
it is assuredly that of her exponents. 

The Kaiser has, even discovered how to enrol 
the religions upon his General Staff. In the course 
of one of his mystical political lucubrations, which 
is dated in August, 1907, he exclaims : "I believe 
that to unite all our citizens, all our classes, there 
is but one means, and that is religion ; not 
religion understood in a narrow, ecclesiastical, 
and dogmatic sense, but in a sense that is larger, 
more practical, more human." The thought is 
fine, but one does not need to dig in it very 


deepl}^ in order to discover that if the imperial 
expositor favours the union of the most diverse 
cults, Mohammedanism amongst them, and if he 
finds room for them all in his heart, it is only in so 
far as they show themselves ready to support his 
policy. One of his official preachers, the pastor 
Stocker, discovered this one day, when he 
endeavoured to press the claims of Christian 
socialism beyond the limits assigned by his 
master. In reality, William II loves to invoke 
the name of God ; but the divinity who is here in 
question is the "old German god," as he himself 
has named him ; Gott become von Gott, as 
Monsieur Cochin has wittily said ; a "Germanised 
Moloch," according to the no less happy expres- 
sion of Monsignor Chapon ; in fact, nothing more 
than a symbolical personification of German 

After having reopened the era of national 
religions which we had believed closed for ever, 
as far as our civilisation was concerned, since the 
appearance of universal cults, the imperial policy 
has laid hands upon all the faiths of the empire, 
not even flinching from the unnatural attempt to 
transform the Gospel into an ally and servant of 
Caesarism. Much might be written about this 
decline of religion, for which the apologists of 
culture do not hesitate openly to congratulate 
themselves. We have Dr. Max Lenz, who, in a 
lecture given in Berlin on the loth of March, 1915, 
proclaims that "God Himself has become nation- 
alised." We find, before the war, the historian 
Karl Lamprecht exclaiming: "Who, then, shall 


dare to deny now that there is a Germanic 
Christian God, and that he manifests himself to 
the other nations as a God both strong and 
jealous " ? And there is a theologian, Herr i\dolf 
Weissmann, who in a pamphlet, entitled Der 
Krieg und der Religion (War and Religion), main- 
tains that to regard natural religions as inferior is 
"an error the extent of which is shown by the 
present war." 

Protestantism is an essentially individualistic 
religion (as we may discover for ourselves among 
the Anglo-Saxon peoples), and, since Bossuet, 
rightly or wrongly, this character has been one 
of its weak points in the eyes of its adver- 
saries. Yet, having remained the State religion 
of the country in which it arose, it has 
there quickly become a weapon of tyranny 
for the hands of the ruler. We need not 
therefore feel very much surprise at the official 
sanction which it has given to Pan-Germanism. 
At the very beginning of the war there 
happened an event which in this connection 
is characteristic. On the 4th of August, 1914, a 
clergyman of Nimes, Monsieur C. E. Babut, had 
forwarded to Herr Dryander, chief preacher to 
the Court of Berlin, a proposal to arrange the 
terms of a declaration, which should receive the 
signatures of Christians in Germany, Austria, 
Belgium, France, Russia, and Serbia, without 
distinction of church or sect. They were to under- 
take to use their whole influence to ensure that 
"the war should be carried on with as much 
humanity as possible ; that the victor should not 


abuse his strength ; that the persons and the 
rights of the weak should be respected." 

Pastor Dryander took his time to consider this 
proposal. On the 15th of September — that is to 
say, three weeks after the atrocities of Vise, 
Aerschot, Louvain, Dinant, Andenne, etc. — he 
formally repulsed the advances of his fellow- 
clergyman at Nimes. The reasons which he gives 
deserve mention : "We refuse because it must 
not henceforward appear, even to the smallest 
degree, that, in our opinion, the people of Ger- 
many stand in need of any warning or of any 
effort whatever on our part, which shall cause 
them to conduct the war in accordance with 
Christian principles and in obedience to the 
demands of compassion and humanity. It is for 
our entire people, as for our General Staff, a matter 
of course that the war is to be conducted between 
soldiers alone, while the defenceless and the weak 
are scrupulousty to be spared, and the wounded 
and sick are to be cared for without distinction." 
And in his unconscious pharisaism he adds : 
"We are convinced — and we know what we are 
saying- — that this rule is that of the entire army, 
and that upon our side the war is being conducted 
with a self-control, a conscientiousness, and a 
kindness (!) which are perhaps unexampled in the 
histor}'^ of the world."* 

Nor have the Kaiser's Catholics lingered in the 
rear. They have uttered no word of censure when 

* This coiTespondence is reproduced in an interesting 
pamphlet by Monsieur Alfred Loisy, War and Religion. Paris : 
Nourry, 1915. 


Monsignor Mercier courageously laid before them 
an account of the cruelties which had been com- 
mitted against the clergy of Belgium and their 
flock ; nor did they make any more protest 
against the destruction of Louvain University 
and the Cathedral of Rheims. There has been 
neither exaction nor atrocity over which the 
German Centre, accustomed as they are to every 
kind of political manoeuvre, have not spread the 
self-satisfied mantle of their loyalty to their 
empire ; and when the Deputy of Luxemburg, 
Priim, who had formerly been among their most 
enthusiastic supporters, accused them of this, 
they found no answer for him but an audacious 
action for libel. 


The Progress and Aims of German 

^ I ^HE force of the movement which thus 
I carried the pubhc opinion of Germany along 
with it, made easy the work of her mihtary 
writers, who proceeded energetically to draw their 
practical conclusions. In this connection the book 
of General Bernhardi, Germany and the Next War, 
which was written in 1911, deserves because of 
its insight into future events to be placed side by 
side with a work of a very different character 
which was published in London, in 19 12, by 
Professor Sarolea, The Anglo-German Problem. It 
is to be observed that the second writer was a 
civilian, who had no guidance to his conclusions 
but his profound knowledge of German mentality, 
while the German general had the advantage of 
being more or less in the secrets of the gods of 
Valhalla. Bernhardi begins by asserting that if 
the triumph of German culture is to be assured, 
war is inevitable. "Once this is admitted, it is 
proper to declare war at the favourable moment 
and against no matter whom." First of all, it is 
necessary "to settle our accounts with France," 
so that we may thereafter have our hands free. 
"France must be so completely put out of action 
that she will never again be able to find herself in 
our path." No doubt, should Russia intervene, 
Germany might have two enemies to reckon with 
instead of one. "This danger can onl}^ be avoided 


if it has been made possible for us to take the 
offensive against and crush one adversary before 
the other shall be able to attack us." 

England, however, might also come in. In order 
to provide for this, Germany must strengthen her 
alliance with Italy, whose support is not absolutely 
assured, and with Turke}^ whose co-operation 
would be valuable in order to stir up revolt among 
the Mohammedan subjects of the two Western 
Powers. Germans must not allow themselves to 
be gulled by the attempts of England to come to 
a better understanding with Germany. Of these 
attempts, Germany must simply take advantage 
so that hostilities may be postponed until the 
moment when she shall have all the trumps in her 
hand, owing to internal dissensions in the countries 
of her adversaries. It is also proper for us so to 
manoeuvre that we are able to cast upon our 
enemy the responsibility for aggression. "In 
order to force our adversaries to begin we must 
take some step which, without being positively 
hostile to France, shall so closely threaten her 
interests and those of England that these two 
nations shall be obliged to attack us." He con- 
gratulates himself, in this connection, upon the 
then recent Algeciras Conference because in it he 
perceives "many possibilities of friction" between 
France and England. 

The author gives us no hint concerning the 
future invasion of Belgium. But in another work, 
translated into English under the title //ozc 
Germany Makes War, he suggests a plan of 
campaign very nearly identical with that which 


the German armies attempted to carry out upon 
the outbreak of hostihties. 

The majority of mihtary writers, moreover, who 
have pubhshed works of late give us to understand 
that Belgium lies upon the route of invasion w^hich 
necessity indicates ; and a Note, more or less 
confidential, of the German Government, drawn 
up on the 19th of March, 1913, in order to justify 
its demand for new military credits, contains the 
following declaration, which has been recorded in 
the Yellow Book of the French Government : 
"We must be strong in order to annihilate with a 
powerful assault our enemies on the East and on 
the West. But in the next European war the 
small States will also have either to be compelled 
to follow us or to be crushed." And to think that 
Germany has made it a crime of the Belgian Govern- 
ment that consultations were initiated by the 
English military attaches for the purpose of con- 
sidering with the Belgian General Staff what defen- 
sive measures should be taken in case Germany 
should actually violate the neutrality of Belgium ! * 

* Bernhardi is a prolific writer. Besides his two classic 
volumes on The War of To-dav, he has published a work, also 
translated into French, called Our Future. In it the author 
examines both the domestic and foreign policies of Germany 
in a style that is clear, methodical, and copious. Some of his 
general opinions, upon the mission of the State and the duties 
of the citizen are not without point. Unfortunately, confound- 
ing war with competition, he embarks upon an enthusiastic 
eulogy of the former, which he represents in turn as a bio- 
logical necessity, a moral obligation and an indispensable 
agent of civilisation. There is no lack of paradox in the 
contrasts which he traces between Germany and other nations, 
when he asserts, for example, that individualism is more 
widespread among the Germans ; while among the English 
the collective spirit is stronger and more general. 


During more than twenty-five years, without 
ceasing, the pamphlets pubhshed by the powerful 
Pan-German League have held before the eyes of 
the German-speaking peoples the conception of a 
German Empire which should have swallowed 
Belgium and Holland, Luxemburg, the Pas de 
Calais, and the Somme, Artois, Burgundy, German 
Switzerland, Poland, the Balkan Peninsula as far 
as Salonika ; that is to say, an empire of some 
162 millions of inhabitants, with the addition of a 
Customs Union which should yield 204 millions 
of consumers, without taking count of the exten- 
sion of the German colonies at the expense of 
France and England. It is unnecessary to say 
that the nations who by tongue and blood should 
be foreign to the culture of Germany were to be 
kept in a purely dependent condition, deprived of 
all share in the government of the empire. One of 
the most energetic of the League's presidents, 
Herr Ernest Hasse, in his book Deutsche Politik 
(German Policy), published more than sixteen 
years ago, suggests the creation, along the 
empire's new frontiers, of a "glacis," whence 
the conquered population should be expelled 
in order to make room, after a plan borrowed 
from Ancient Rome, for German colonists, 
recruited from among the veterans and non- 
commissioned officers. Nothing could have been 
wanting to this plagiarism of antiquity but the 
sale as slaves of the former inhabitants ; and now 
the brutal seizure of workmen and even of women 
in the North of France, and the deportation en 
masse of those Belgian workmen who have been 


cast into the ergastula of Germany, to provide 
forced labour for her factories and trenches, 
remind us vividty enough of the fate of those 
populations whcm the conquerors of the Ancient 
World were wont to carry off into servitude. 

And here again is a last suggestion put forward 
in a pamphlet, published by the League in 1900, 
under the title Deutschland heim Beginn das 
20" Jahfhunderts (German};^ at the Beginning of 
the 2oth Century) : "In ancient times a con- 
quered people were annihilated. No longer to-day 
can this be done literally ; but it is possible to 
imagine a condition of existence which would 
amount to annihilation." The Turks have 
imported less hypocrisy into their dealings with 
the Armenians. 

Was there, then, no longer in the German 
people any leaven of moderate, far-seeing, or 
peaceful citizens capable of resisting this bellicose 
frenzy ? No doubt the commercial and industrial 
classes must have viewed with alarm the prospect 
of a long and costly war. But the greater part of 
those who were engaged in business allowed them- 
selves to become convinced that the war would 
be a short one, by the very fact of the immensity 
of the militar^" establishments ; that success had 
been made certain by an intelligent preparation 
during more than thirty years ; that, as in former 
wars, this one would be followed by a magnificent 
outburst of natural prosperity ; finally, that the 
conquered nations would provide the commerce 
of their conquerors with an almost unlimited 
field of exploitation. It was not only the political 


domination of the German race which was to be 
spread over the earth, but its economic supremacy. 
The people of Germany beheved absolutely that 
it was necessary to discover new territories where 
it would be able to swarm, and where its imperial 
banner should symbolise the physical extension 
of the Fatherland. William II, who shared with 
the former king of the Belgians the taste for 
grandiose enterprises, had in no small degree 
helped to engage in the sphere of trusts, mono- 
polies, and all kinds of financial combinations 
such capital as was not involved in the produc- 
tion of armaments or the development of the 
fleet. The war was indicated as the sole means of 
procuring for the empire colonies which should be 
really profitable, and of crushing the rivalry of the 
principal maritime nations. One may say that 
the whole commercial population had swallowed 
the bait. 

Only the working classes were left. The mirage 
of a greater Germany had gradually been imposed 
upon their vision through the channel of the 
compulsory schools, where nothing is taught that 
is not initiated and approved by the State. The 
peasantr}^ had long been accustomed to endure 
the rule of the Junkers, who by -tradition and 
interest are dedicated to the profession of arms. 
As for the working-men — so powerfully organised 
bv the Sozial Demokratie, where political and 
economic affairs are concerned — they, too, had 
allowed themselves to be carried away by the 
prospect of a great industrial revival which, born of 
victory, must necessarily cause their wages to rise. 


Still echoes in our ears that contest of oratory 
which took place at the Socialist Conference held, 
during the November of 1909, in the ancient 
cathedral of Basle. The comrades from Germany 
were not the least eager to acclaim ."the complete 
unanimity during war against war of the Socialists 
of all countries." They vied with one another to 
protest that if war should be declared the workmen 
would refuse to fire upon one another, and that 
they would, moreover, assuredly succeed in pre- 
venting their respective Governments from com- 
mitting this stupidity. In fact, the German 
workmen did nothing to prevent the war. Their 
leaders — with the exception of Liebknecht, whom, 
when the Government put him in prison, his party 
had already disowned — were by no means the last, 
when the time came, to vote credits for the 
opening and continuation of hostilities, to ]6in the 
invading armies, to sanction by their tacit 
approval, where they did not actually take part 
in them, the excesses of which the victims were 
the innocent inhabitants (among whom were the 
workmen) of those parts of Belgium and France 
that were invaded. 

Four days after the meeting held at Brussels, 
on the 30th of July, 1914, and arranged by 
The International — at which the delegates of 
all countries, including German}/, had sworn 
to prevent the outbreak of hostilities, and 
particularly to refuse all military credits — the 
representatives in the Reichstag of the Sozial 
Demokratie ratified both the declaration of war 
against the Triple Entente and the invasion of 


Belgium b}-" unanimously voting the subsidies 
that had been demanded. Yet more, when after 
the month of August the executive committee of 
'The International issued an appeal to the German 
nation which denounced the injustice of the 
aggression and the horrors of the German invasion, 
the Parteivorstand and the Vorwcirts contented 
themselves with declaring that this was a 
manoeuvre which was intended to influence the 
neutral countries. The Vorwcirts added pharisa- 
ically : "Soldiers who in their millions have 
passed through the school of the Party are not 

* In order to understand to what a degree the Sozial 
Demokratie has made itself the accomphce of Pan-Germanist 
Imperiahsm and has exploited the Socialist movement in 
other countries, we may consult the works of certain Socialist 
writers, and those which are more especially of a documentary 
nature : — Edmond Laskine, Internationalism and Pan- 
Germanism. Paris : Floury, 1916. — Jules Destree, The 
Socialists and the European War. Paris : Van Oest, 1916. 
We may add the revelations of other Socialist writers :— 
Emile Royer, The Social Democrats v. The Belgian Socialists. 
London, 1915. — La Chesnais, The Socialist Group of the 
Reichstag and the Declaration of War. Paris.: Colin, 1915. — - 
Paul-H3'acinthe Loyson, Are you Neutral towards Crime? 
Paris : Berger-Leveault , 1916. — See also the controversy 
between Messieurs Vandervelde and Scheidemann in Invaded 
Belgium and International Socialism, i vol. Paris : Berger- 
Leveault, 1917. 


The Movement towards International 

IF we examine the history of the last hundred 
years — or, we may almost say, of the centuries 
which have elapsed since the Peace of West- 
phalia — we cannot fail to perceive a tendency 
among the civilised nations gradually to grant to 
the operation of law a wider influence upon inter- 
national affairs ; and this development was arrested 
— or, at least suspended — by the aggressive policy 
of Germany. It may not be inopportune if we 
shortly consider the history of a movement which 
held out the prospect of a happier existence to 
humanity and proposed to itself to put an end to 
the possibility of conflagrations such as that 
through which we are passing to-day. 

The repudiation of war is no new thing. 
Religion, first of all — or, rather, certain universal 
religions, Christianity, and, earlier still, Judaism 
and Buddhism — has expressed itself clearly upon 
this question. Philosophy, in its turn, has made a 
like attempt. Centuries ago, the stoics and the 
prophets of Israel shared the vision of a future 
era, when all the nations of the earth should form 
one family. In the Middle Ages, the Church 
claimed, without much success, to settle the 
quarrels of sovereigns. She endeavoured also to 
minimise the evils of war by arranging sundry 
truces of restricted significance and recommending 



to belligerents the observation of certain humane 
principles. So, in 1105, the Council of Clermont 
resolved that women, husbandmen, merchants, 
and shepherds should enjoy a perpetual peace. 
The Hindoos, according to Diodorus, already 
possessed a similar regulation, which it is probable 
met with very little more observance. 

During the seventeenth and eighteenth cen- 
turies the moralists and philosophers introduced 
new arguments, but without achieving their 
escape from Utopia, as is shown by the New 
Atlantis of Bacon and the Neo-Salente of Fenelon. 
Such, again, was the dream of the good abbe of 
Saint Pierre, who, nevertheless, devised a scheme 
of perpetual peace through which all international 
disputes were to be settled by a permanent 
congress of plenipotentiaries. 

It is strange that a German — perhaps of Scotch 
descent — Immanuel Kant, was among the first 
who pronounced the suppression of war to be 
dependent not upon sentiment, but upon the 
essential idea of justice. He demonstrated the 
necessity of applying to international affairs the 
principles which govern the mutual relations of 
individuals. He added that, in order to realise this 
conception, the nations must form an alliance or 
confederacy, the members of which should agree 
between themselves not to interfere in one 
another's domestic difficulties and to protect one 
another mutualh' against attacks from outside. 

Presently the French Revolution proclaimed 
the right of the nations to govern themselves ; 
but it took little heed of any method of regulating 


their disputes, and, forced to defend itself against 
coalitions of royal personages, it allowed itself to 
be led away into a policy of conquest which 
endured to the end of the imperial adventure. 
After the downfall of Napoleon, his conquerors 
endeavoured to establish a lasting peace upon the 
basis of their own territorial arrangements, and 
even to endow this peace with a permanent 
character by undertaking to defend one another 
against all warlike aggression. 

This was the Holy Alliance, which might 
perhaps have deserved its glorious name had its 
vision been less shallow and its purpose more 
honest. Unfortunately, it took no account of 
those national affinities which were to play so 
important a part in European politics, while the 
end which it sought to attain was not only the 
security of the frontiers, but also that of 
the rulers. Its only application was the 
mandate which it gave to the French army 
to stifle the revolution in Spain which had 
dethroned Ferdinand VII. England, as a consti- 
tutional and Liberal Power, stood aside at once. 
The revolutions in Greece and Belgium gave the 
finishing stroke to this addled confederation of 
Europe, which was in reality nothing but an 
alliance of kings against their subjects. 

Nevertheless, hostility to the emplo3^ment of 
armed force began to penetrate the consciousness 
of the masses. It was in the United States of 
America, about 1814, that, according to Frederic 
Passy, the earliest peace societies were formed. 
This example was followed in England, especially 


among those religious sects whose object was to 
restore the traditions of primitive Christianity, 
and notably among the Quakers, whose unyielding 
hatred of bloodshed is well known. The move- 
ment progressed slowly ; yet it was not long 
before it had given birth to a growing number of 
organisations, such as, in England, the Working- 
men's Peace Association, the Women's Peace 
Society, and the International Association of 
Arbitration and Peace. The last, in order to 
justify its name, began a search for adherents 
upon the Continent, and between 1843 and 1848 
the appearance of international congresses, 
gathered successively in London, Brussels, and 
Paris, gave evidence of the advance which the 
pacifist propaganda was making. 

In one of these gatherings, which was held in 
Paris shortly after the revolution of February, 1848, 
there sat side by side men as widely differing in 
opinion as Cobden, Victor Hugo, the abbe 
Deguerry, the pastor Athanase Coquerel, and the 
Chief Rabbi of France. Victor Hugo opened the 
session in these words : "You have come together 
from every quarter of the horizon, in order to 
turn the Gospel's most glorious page, where men 
are commanded to love one another like the 
children of the same Father, and to teach the 
nations at last to permit Reason to say that which 
until now has been said by Force alone." 

The language of all these groups, however well- 
intentioned it msiy have been, suffers a little from 
their sentimental and mystical origins. These paci- 
fists, however, were about to receive an ally who 


should provide them with arguments of a more 
positive nature — free trade, which, while recom- 
mending the overthrow of all economic barriers, 
proposed to establish on a true understanding of 
self-interest the mutual assistance and even the 
brotherhood of nations. For a time it seemed as 
if the rulers of the world were prepared to accept 
this idea. After the Crimean War, the Conference 
of Paris, on the motion of Lord Clarendon, who it 
appears was acting upon the suggestion of Henry 
Richard, the general secretary of the Peace 
Society, resolved that the high contracting 
parties, and those who should afterwards sub- 
scribe to their decisions, should forbid all recourse 
to arms before the good offices of a friendly Power 
should have been invited, "in so far as the circum- 
stances of the case should allow." In spite of this 
reservation, we are entitled to regard as an 
historical event, if not as the beginning of a new 
era, this recognition of the principle of com- 
pulsory arbitration, not only in a convention 
between two Powers of minor importance, but in 
a diplomatic document which was intended to 
become the charter of European stability. The 
English Government did not fail to claim the 
authority of this clause in order to justify its 
friendly intervention when, ten years later, the 
question of the railways of Luxemburg almost 
brought about a war between Germany and 
France. The conflict was averted, and through 
this success a new and a wider influence was 
given to the pacifist agitation. 

The Universal Exhibition, held in Paris in 1867, 


was a marvellous assertion of the solidarity of the 
nations ; war came to be looked upon more and 
more as a relic of barbarism. Everywhere men 
were beginning to agitate against armaments, 
which the least Utopian felt to be exaggerated, if 
not useless, and to demand the abolition of the 
obstacle to the economic progress of the world 
which all this military emulation constituted. 
Above all, the lesser nations, which had every- 
thing to fear from war — Switzerland, Belgium, 
Holland, and the Scandinavian countries — hailed 
with enthusiasm a movement which could find 
adherents even among the professors and politi- 
cians of Prussia and Austria, who now, since 
Sadowa, were reconciled. 

From this time, however, dates the appearance 
among the adversaries of militarism of two 
divergent tendencies ; on the one hand there were 
those who proposed to persist in their mission 
regardless of all political and social differences. 
Such was the programme of the Ligue permanente 
et internationale de Paix (the Permanent and 
International League of Peace), founded bv 
Frederic Passy. 

"The League," he wrote in a manifesto dated 
the 1st of October, 1867, "has but one thought 
— to compose the quarrels of the nations ; but 
one banner — the banner of justice and mutual 
respect. And neither politics nor religion — let 
them have what influence they ma}' upon the 
belief and the conduct of each one of us — shall be 
able to spoil this harmony. Whosoever loves 
peace, whatever may be his reasons, is one of us." 


On the other hand, there were those who, 
anticipating the theory of the International 
Sociahsts, could not be satisfied to separate 
pacifism from certain political and social require- 
ments. Shortly afterwards, a Belgian writer, 
Charles Lemonnier, founded at Geneva the Ligue 
de la Paix et de la LiberU (the League of Peace 
and Freedom), which proposed as its object 
nothing less than the establishment upon a 
republican basis of the United States of Europe. 

This was the moment when the French Empire 
seemed ready to proclaim its Liberalism by taking 
the first step towards European disarmament. 
Count Daru, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, 
attempted to open negotiations for this purpose 
with the neighbouring Powers ; and the French 
Government, even at the beginning of that fatal 
year, did not hesitate to give the example by 
reducing by 10,000 men the contingent of recruits 
for 1870. By the explosion of the war these 
illusions were blasted. In vain, during the days 
of agonised patriotism which preceded the opening 
of hostilities, the most prominent leaders of the 
pacifist associations addressed to Napoleon III 
and William I appeals as eloquent as they were 
despairing. One wonders with what kind of a 
reception they met. The diplomatic intervention 
of Great Britain, while it provided for Belgium's 
safety, succeeded only in preventing the extension 
of hostilities. 

Once again the spirit of conquest was to triumph, 
and for several years the spectacle of the Germans 
in forcible possession of Alsace and Lorraine made 


it rather difficult to return to the discussion of a 
perpetual peace. None the less, Frederic Passy 
and his friends did not abandon their ambitions, 
and after reorganising their League under the 
name of the Societe frangaise des Amis de la 
Paix (the French Society of the Friends of 
Peace), they devoted themselves principal^ to 
the popularisation of the idea of international 
arbitration, announcing, in a manifesto which 
they issued in 1872 under the title Revanche 
ou ReUvement (Revenge or Re-birth), that 
they pardoned nothing and forgot nothing, but 
that they left it to the progress of ideas and 
morals to ensure that in the immediate future 
Force should atone for the injuries which it had 
done to the Right. 

The partisans of international reform, more- 
over, were showing themselves inclined to work 
for the practical realisation of their ideal. Their 
aspirations henceforth took a double direction : 
on the one hand towards the mitigation of the 
evils that arise from war, and on the other towards 
the regularisation of the mutual relations of 
States. In every age the belligerents who valued 
themselves on their civilisation have admitted 
their duty to avoid useless cruelty, and even to 
obey certain principles which introduced a little 
humanity into the customs of war. These restric- 
tions of the rights of the strongest grew in 
number, and it became possible to believe that 
they had definitely taken their place in the 
inheritance of mankind, even when it was at war. 
For instance, the rule that military operations 


should be conducted only against the armed 
forces of the eneni}^, and not against his civil 
population ; the rule that destruction ought to be 
strictly confined to such damage as the conduct 
of operations should make unavoidable ; the rule 
that, at any rate on land, private property should 
be respected ; the rule that, in war as in peace, 
each person is required to answer solely for his 
own acts, and that the imposition of collective 
responsibility is opposed to the most elementary 
requirements of distributive justice. 

In order to clothe these rules mth greater 
authorit}^ it was even thought advisable to place 
them under the protection of treaties, .which 
should come into force upon the declaration of 
hostilities. Hence, during the latter part of the 
nineteenth century is to be remarked an ever- 
swelling stream of international conventions for 
ameliorating the lot of the wounded ; for ensuring 
to the services of the Red Cross the benefits of 
neutrality ; for guaranteeing that prisoners of war 
should receive humane treatment ; that the use of 
certain forms of bullet which were considered: 
treacherous or needlessly cruel should be for- 
bidden ; that open towns should not be bombarded ; 
that religious monuments and works of art should 
be preserved from destruction ; that pillage should 
be punished ; that requisitions should be confined 
within the limits of that which is essential for the 
maintenance of armies , that the inhabitants of 
occupied territory should be spared the necessity 
of undertaking work which would be repugnant to 
their patriotism ; and, finalh^ that respect should 


be shown to the legislation of invaded countries 
in all questions with which the civil authority is 
concerned. For one kind of systematic brutality 
no provision had been made, perhaps because it 
was considered a baseness so outrageous that it 
could never occur to civilised belligerents to put 
it into practice. This was the employment of 
hostages as living shields, in the hope of pre- 
venting or hindering the fire of the enemy. These 
provisions unite to form what we may call the 
Modern Code of War. 

At the same time, the parallel movement for 
establishing the mutual relations of States upon a 
legal basis was being developed. The year 1873 
had witnessed the foundation at Brussels of the 
Institut du Droit international (the Institute of 
International Law), where legal experts from 
every country lent their aid to the experimental 
improvement and codification of international law. 
It is here that, during the last fort}- 3^ears, the 
chief of those measures have been concerted, 
which have for their object the harmonisation of 
the enactments of the various States with the 
general principles of law, whether public or 
private. In 1889 there was founded a Union 
Inter -parlementaire (an Inter - Parliamentary 
Union) which was formed of members of various 
parliaments. Its original object was to promote 
recourse to arbitration ; but it ended by in- 
teresting itself, at its annual meetings, in every- 
thing which could be of advantage to the cause of 
peace. On the eve of the year 1914 this institution 
numbered no less than 3,600 adherents, among 


whom there were 156 members of the German 
Parhament, 126 of the Austrian, and 229 of the 
Hungarian, not to mention Turks and Bulgarians;* 

At length, in 1899, at the invitation of the 
Tsar, the official representatives of all the civilised 
nations met together at The Hague, in a "peace 
conference," to endeavour to fmd some means of 
extending the scope of arbitration and procuring 
a limitation of armaments. This assembly held 
two sessions, one in 1899, the other in 1907 ; 
twenty-six States took part in the former, fortv- 
four in the latter. Certain points were established, 
the importance of which is not to be under- 
valued. Several of those measures, for lessening 
the evils of international conflicts, which had 
been most strongly recommended by the jurists 
were codified. A considerable advance was also 
made towards the organisation on a legal basis of 
international society, by the institution of a 
permanent court of arbitration, at which all the 
Powers who had taken part in the conference 
should be represented. 

Thus encouraged, treaties for permanent 
arbitration of a particular, and even of a general, 
character increased in number in both the Old 
and the New Worlds ; about 1913 a hundred and' 
twelve could be counted. It is true that the 
greater part of them contained restrictions, 
admitted bv the conference itself, with regard to 
disputes in which one of the parties might 
consider its vital interests, its independence, or 

* Annual of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Fourth year. 
Brussels, 1914. 


its honour to be involved. Some Governments, 
however, would have agreed to the excision of 
these reservations. Four among them^ — Italy, 
Denmark, Holland, and the Argentine Republic — 
made among themselves treaties of general 
arbitration which were quite unrestricted. The 
Union Inter-parlementaire, in its session of 1908, 
also declared that if any dispute should arise in 
which matters not provided for in an arbitration 
treaty should be concerned, the contracting 
parties to it should be bound not to commit any 
hostile act until, together or separately, they 
should have invited the mediation of one or more 
friendly Powers. This declaration first took prac- 
tical shape when the United States of America, 
during the administration of Mr. Taft, and after- 
wards of Mr. Wilson, succeeded in introducing it 
into the Treaties for the Advancement of Peace, 
which, since 1911, the great American Republic 
has arranged with France and England, and sub- 
sequently with a dozen other States, among them 
Italy, Russia, Holland, Spain, the Scandinavian 
countries, and several of the South American 

Meanwhile, armaments had continued to swell 
• disquietingly, and the political horizon was dark 
with threatening clouds. For the dispersal, how- 
ever, of these the world relied upon the common 
sense of the masses, the pacific utterances of 
Governments, and especially upon the growing 
interdependence of material interests which 

* Chr. Lange : The American Peace Treaties. Christiania, 


demanded that peace should be maintained. 
Capital had become daily more cosmopolitan, and 
financial operations — unless perhaps we except 
those which Germany organised — were no longer 
endowed with nationality. Moreover, every year 
witnessed the birth of new associations 
formed, without consideration of frontiers, for 
the advancement of science, charity, public 
health, education, and similar objects of universal 
interest. The Governments themselves had recog- 
nised the necessity of uniting for the organisation 
of certain spheres of activity affecting the whole of 
mankind, such as the postal services, the ex- 
changes of money, the preservation of artistic, 
literary, and industrial property, the regulation 
of transport by land and sea, the treatment of 
epidemics, the protection of workmen, the sup- 
pression of the white slave traffic, etc., not to 
mention the conventions, referred to above, whose 
object was to minimise the evils of war. Just 
before 1914 there were fifty-six organisations of 
this kind which had been created and were 
subsidised by the civilised nations collectively. 
As the report of the eighteenth session of the 
Union Inter -parlementaire observes: "Nothing 
seems more favourable to the spread of law and the 
growth of good feeling among nations." There 
had even been formed — thanks to the efforts of 
private persons — a Union des Associations Inter- 
nationales (Union of International Associations), 
which held periodical congresses. That which met 
in Brussels, in June, 1913, brought together 
delegates from 169 associations and 22 Govern- 


ments. We must also notice, particularly, the 
Bureau permanent de la Paix (the Permanent 
Bureau of Peace), established at Berne, to pro- 
vide the peace and arbitration propaganda with 
a centre of information and activity. 

There was, indeed, no lack of reassuring move- 
ments, whose importance the world, apart from a 
few pessimistic or far-sighted people, was always 
prepared to exaggerate. A new session of the 
Peace Conference was expected in 1915 ; already 
the various Governments were busy with their 
programmes, and it was hoped that this time 
there would result some really decisive resolutions 
concerning compulsor}^ arbitration, if not actually 
disarmament. England for fifteen years had never 
ceased in her suggestions to Germany that she 
should agree to a mutual limitation of armaments, 
at any rate so far as naval construction was con- 
cerned, and the official pourparlers that had been 
exchanged between members of the two Govern- 
ments gave rise to the hope that this question 
might achieve a satisfactory solution. As for the 
relations of France and Germany, there had been 
formed, on the 30th of May, 1914, in the little 
town of Basle — so obviously designed for a meeting 
of this nature — a committee of eighteen German 
and thirteen French Members of Parliament, who, 
in spite of a few unfortunate incidents, had not 
separated without declaring themselves to be 
"determined to redouble their efforts to 
demonstrate the wish for peace that inspired 
the vast majority of the two peoples." This 
promise was sincere, but only on one side. 


A few months earlier the Queen of Holland had 
opened, at The Hague, that Palace of Peace for 
which the world had to thank the munificence of 
Mr. Carnegie ; and we cannot to-day suppress a 
melancholy smile when we remember the enthu- 
siasm which this ceremony evoked among those 
who witnessed it, in whose number the members 
of the Peace Congress and of the Inter-Parlia- 
mentary Union were to be counted. Alas ! not a 
year was to pass before the Palace of Peace should 
close its doors, while, at the same moment, Berlin 
was opening those of the Temple of Janus. 


Some Illusions entertained by Germany 

WITH our better knowledge of to-day, we 
can easily understand why those who 
guided the policy of Germany remained 
steadily unfavourable to the advances of the 
British Government, as well as to every proposal 
which they could not have accepted without 
fettering their hands in questions of peace and 
war. The generous suggestion of the Tsar had 
met from both the Press of Germany and her 
politicians with nothing but covert sneers or open 
hostility. In this connection there is a significant 
passage in Bernhardi. We read in his book The 
War of To-day : "Formerly, with the exception 
of Immanuel Kant, the men who spread these 
ideas of universal brotherhood were nothing but 
dreamers and idealists. To-day the Governments 
of great and powerful States have laid hands upon 
these conceptions and disguise their movements 
under the cloak of an edifying humanitarianism. 
We, who are Germans, must not allow ourselves 
to be hoodwinked by advances of this kind. If we 
propose to obtain for our nation the place in the 
world which is her due, we must put our trust in 
our sword." 

At The Hague, during the two sessions of the 
conference, Germany never ceased in her opposi- 
tion, direct or indirect, to every measure which 
might hamper her in her schemes of aggression or 



lead to a limitation of her armaments. She 
threatened to withdraw, if a proposal made by 
Russia should be discussed, which called upon all 
those countries who were represented not to 
increase their expenditure upon their armies for 
five years and upon their navies for three. Owing 
to the same opposition, nothing came of the 
proposal to make compulsory — and not simply 
optiqnal — the intervention of the Court of Arbitra- 
tion in all differences which do not affect national 
existence or honour. 'And so it was, when an 
attempt was made to give this proposal a more 
definite character, by enumerating twenty-four 
kinds of dispute which should always be sub- 
mitted to arbitration. Since thirty-nine States 
had voted for this solution of the difficulty, it was 
suggested that it should, at any rate, bind the 
majority which had favoured it ; but a German 
delegate put this amendment aside as contrary to 
the principle of unanimity which must sanction 
all the resolutions of the conference. 

Those measures which were directed solety to 
the diminution of the horrors of war had generally 
met from Germany with a better reception. They 
were, indeed, of a nature to embarrass those of 
her adversaries who should faithfully abide by 
them, while she no doubt reserved to herself the 
privilege of treating them as "scraps of paper," 
like other and more important agreements. As a 
matter of fact, there is not one of them which she 
has not violated in the course of the present war. 
When we recall the strange recommendation given 
by William II to his troops on their departure for 


the Chinese expedition — "Conduct yourself as did 
the Huns" — we can only lament that the effect of 
this exhortation should have manifested itself not 
in China alone. 

After such a record — still far from complete — ■ 
of the German atrocities in Belgium, as has been 
compiled by the Commissions of Inquiry convened 
in Brussels, Antwerp, and London, I do not 
propose to dwell upon this subject, about which it 
is difficult to speak calmly or with moderation. 
The reports of the French Commission which was 
entrusted with the examination of the conduct of 
the German troops in the invaded Departments 
of France can only confirm our impression of 
horror for the butchers and of pity for 
their victims.* I will content myself with 
insisting upon this — that it is not alone upon 
a brutal and often drunken soldier that the 
responsibility for these crimes must be laid, 
but also upon the leaders who organised them, 
on the writers who advised them, and on the 
nation which has applauded them. They are, 
indeed, no more than the practical application of 
principles which the apologists of German mili- 
tarism had logically deduced from their concep- 
tion of war, and which they had successfully 
instilled into every section of their people. 

If a State, in time of peace, may admit no guide 
and no check but its own interest, how much the 

* See, besides the official reports of these Commissions : — 
P. Nothomb, Les Barbares en Belgique. Paris : Perrin, 1915. — 
Joseph Bedier, Les crimes allemandes d'apres des temoignages 
ullemands. Paris : Cohn, 1916. — H. Davignon, La Belgique 
et I'Allemagne. London, 1915. Etc. 


less, when it goes to war, does it need to trouble 
itself about the rules of international law, respect 
for treaties, or the principles of humanity ? For 
the officers and soldiers it would even be a wicked- 
ness to think of these things if only the excesses 
to which the}' abandon themselves may improve 
their chances of victory. Such is the invariable 
argument of Bismarck, Moltke, Clausewitz, von 
der Goltz, von Hartmann, von Bernhardi, 
Frobenius, and others. Von Hartmann propounds 
as an axiom that ''from the moment when a 
national war breaks out, terrorism becomes a 
principle of military necessity." Clausewitz claims 
that not without committing an absurdity may 
the principle of moderation be introduced into the 
philosophy of war. Von der Goltz teaches, in his' 
The Armed Nation, that since the aim of warfare 
is the total defeat of the enemy, we are required 
to "use to the very utmost all methods, both 
material and moral, which will strike dismay into 
his mind." An official manual, The Laws of Con- 
tinental War {Kriegshrauch im Landkriege), pub- 
lished in 1902 by authority of the Great General 
Staff, put officers on their guard against the 
temptation "to administer the laws of war from a 
standpoint which is entirely opposed to their 
objects, and which has already met with moral 
recognition from the Convention of Geneva, as 
well as from the Conferences of Brussels and The 
Hague." Yet more violence exercised against 
civil populations is represented as a measure of — 
humanity ; "for, by the terror which it inspires, 
it tends to hasten the coming of" peace." 


For the honour of the human race, we must 
congratulate ourselves that such a theory should 
have proved completely false, and if from the 
application of it any lesson is to be derived, it is 
that methods of terrorism in war end by recoiling 
upon the heads of those who practise them. 
Germany flattered herself that by this means she 
would compel th*:" belligerents to accept her con- 
ditions. The Allies have replied by reciprocally 
engaging themselves to carry on the war to the 
very end, to require complete reparation, and to 
conclude no peace to which all of them should not 
be parties. The pillage of open towns and all the 
abominations that accompany it have hastened 
the surrender of no fortress. The employment of 
hostages as living shields has in no case prevented 
attack or paralysed defence. And it is only of late 
that we have witnessed the outburst of indignation 
which, even among neutral nations, has been 
caused by the carrying off of whole populations in 
order to constrain them, by starvation and blows, 
to undertake forced labour. The destruction of 
Louvain University and the Cathedral of Rheims 
has intimidated the Catholics neither of Belgium 
nor of France, who have simply declined hence- 
forward to regard the Germans as Christians. The 
murderous raids of their Zeppelins into Great 
Britain have only resulted in giving an impulse to 
the recruitment of volunteers and in facilitating 
the introduction of compulsory service. The 
exploits of their submarine pirates finally brought 
about war between Germany and the United 
States of America, without having to an appre- 


ciable degree embarrassed the ocean transport of 
troops. Of late, again, the Belgian workmen, 
whom the Germans have been conducting at full 
speed, crowded without food into cattle trucks, 
towards the infernos of their concentration camps, 
and labour in their munition factories and 
trenches, have passed through the railway 
stations of Belgium undauntedly singing the 
Brabanfonne and the Leeuw van V lander en. 

In short, they have succeeded in nothing save 
in arousing a hate which will not die with the pre- 
sent generation ; they have made war more relent- 
less and peace more hard to attain ; they have 
closed to themselves for many years countries 
which, when peace should have come, might have 
been willing to renew neighbourly relations with 
them ; they have alienated the sympathy which 
a certain number of neutral countries still retained 
for them ; and they have dishonoured themselves 
in the sight of history. A shrewd statesman has 
said that in politics mistakes are worse than 
crimes. Here we perceive the two in constant 
combination, and with the same negative result. 

We observe an equal clumsiness in the reasoning 
of the Germans whenever they have sought to 
penetrate into the minds of other nations. 

There is no doubt that the concentration of the 
whole body of national activities upon a single 
object engenders an incomparable force ; and it is 
this which explains the strength of the moral 
resistance which Germany offers, even to-day, in 
spite of her increasing military and economic 
embarrassments. But this unity of aim may 


become also a source of weakness, where it pro- 
ceeds from an infatuation which no longer takes 
account of facts. Absorbed in the contemplation 
of their own soul, the Germans have ended by no 
longer understanding anything in the souls of 
their neighbours, nor, indeed, in the soul of man. 
And so they have opened the flood-gates of war 
without having any conception of the moral and 
material resources of the nations with which they 
now must deal. 

The}/ were on their way to the conquest of the 
earth by means of an economic penetration with- 
out precedent in history. In the course of the last 
forty years their population had increased in 
number from 40 millions to about 70 millions, a 
growth which was owing, no doubt, to a remark- 
able advance in their birth-rate, but also to their 
transformation from an agricultural to an indus- 
trial na^tion. Among commercial Powers, they 
had raised themselves from a position of no 
importance at all to the second place. Their 
manufactures crowded all the markets of the 
globe, and they were preparing to rob England 
of the monopoly of ocean navigation. Their 
engineers, their bankers, their men of business, 
their clerks — each aiding the other — threatened 
with actual dispossession the classes which in 
every country were the representatives of its 
commercial and industrial activity. In all impor- 
tant towns they founded schools to which the 
middle classes of those towns even sent their 
children. What will remain to them out of all 
these peaceful conquests ? Even had they been 


victorious, and however enormous might have 
been the contributions which they would have 
exacted from the conquered, they must have been 
too gravely affected in their private and public 
fortunes not to feel, for very many years, the 
handicap of their losses in men and material. 
Conquered, or even simply disappointed of their 
hopes, they will see their development arrested for 
generations to come, if, indeed, they do not find 
themselves confronted, without escape, by posi- 
tive ruin. In any event, they will have opened the 
eyes of the other nations, even of neutrals, who, 
realising the extent of a danger the full gravity of 
which they had never suspected, will take such 
steps as may be necessary to prevent its recur- 
rence. One may, without ceasing to be a Free 
Trader, require that obstacles of an economic kind 
shall be erected against the crafty and treacherous 
inroads of German competition, even as one may, 
without ceasing to be a pacifist, insist that the 
war shall be carried on until German militarism 
shall have been definitely defeated, if this be the 
price of a lasting peace. 

Their judgment was again at fault when they 
imagined successively that the Russians would 
suffer them to destroy Serbia ; that an attempt 
to annihilate Russia would fail to rouse the 
French to action ; that the Belgians would prefer 
safety to honour ; that the English, for the sake 
of peace at any price, would be willing to betray 
their promises ; and that Italy, in return for a 
respectable commission, paid in territory, would 
^ive them her support. What could be more 


sincere and more characteristic than the astonish- 
ment of Herr von Bethmann-Hollweg when he 
complained that for "a. scrap of paper" Great 
Britain should go to war " with a nation of kindred 
blood who asks nothing better than to be her 

Another of their illusions was the belief that 
beyond their own borders there was nothing — not 
even public opinion — which was not for sale. We 
shall never know how many millions they have 
wasted among the neutrals in order to hire pens 
and even consciences, nor must we overlook 
either the vast number of their propaganda 
publications, or the sagacious organisation of their 
espionage, which they had raised to the dignity of 
a patriotic institution. Here again they have 
only reaped disappointment, unless perhaps in the 
case of certain Oriental nations who are worthy to 
come to an understanding with them. 

Deceived by the reports of their agents, which 
flattered their own illusions, they told themselves 
that they would be met by adversaries weakened 
by interior dissensions. In Russia it was the 
democratic agitation, as well as the revolutionary 
ambitions of Poland and Finland ; in France, 
the conspiracies of the Confederation du Travail 
(Confederation of Labour) ; in England, the 
opposition of a pacifist radicalism, the selfishness 
of the trade unions, and the prospect of civil war 
in Ireland ; in Belgium, the confusion created by 
the quarrels of parties, religions, classes, and 
tongues ; finally, outside of Europe, the national 
aspirations of the Hindoos, the Mohammedans, and 


the Boers. They failed to see that while, among 
themselves, every difference of opinion vanished 
in the prosecution of an object which was greater 
than all, precisely the same thing would take 
place among their adversaries, when patriotism 
should raise its voice and the magnitude of what 
was at stake should be perceived. 

Pacifism and an Indecisive Peace 

AT no time has the outbreak of hostihties 
between two nations, or two groups of 
nations, so profound!}^ affected the spec- 
tators of the conflict as has the present war. 
Small and great, all the neutral countries have 
felt themselves threatened by the theory that 
strategic or political necessity suffices to justify 
the violation of rules hitherto recognised, even in 
time of war, on the foundation of international 
order. Yet their fear of finding themselves 
involved in the struggle was so great that, shelter- 
ing themselves behind an over-meticulous anxiety 
to preserve a neutral attitude, they have invari- 
ably refused to pronounce upon the acts of the 
belligerents, even when these have constituted 
the most flagrant breaches of conventions to 
which the}' themselves have subscribed, and 
which they themselves have guaranteed. A 
similar, though less excusable, lack of frankness 
has been visible in the gatherings of those pacifists 
who, after the first months of the war, initiated, 
in the neutral countries, a campaign whose object 
was to bring about peace upon a pretended basis 
of mutual satisfaction. 

In Februar^^, 191 5, a number of Swiss associa- 
tions proposed to the Federal Council that it 
should summon a conference of the neutral States 
in order to lay the foundations of a peace wherein 



guarantees of permanency should be discovered. 
To this the answer of the Council was, naturally, 
a polite refusal. In the month of April, 1916, the 
Nederlandsche Anti-Oorlog Raad (the Dutch Anti- 
War Council) itself summoned to a congress "the 
representatives of the various national and inter- 
national movements which were concerned with 
the cause of pacifism before the war, and which 
since its outbreak have been doing their utmost 
to procure peace upon lasting conditions." The 
result of this step was the foundation of a " Central 
Organisation for a Permanent Peace," which 
published a manifesto containing the terms of 
such a peace. In this nothing is to be found which 
is in advance of the earlier programme of pacifism, 
apart from the development of reforms which the 
conferences of The Hague had already set on foot. 
As far as the present war was concerned the 
society forbade to itself "all attempts to decide 
where the responsibility for the war is to be laid 
or to protest against violations of international 
law." The "International Council," which was 
founded upon this basis, comprised members 
belonging to as many as twenty different States ; 
but, although it has obtained a considerable 
amount of support, particularly in Switzerland 
and Holland, it has hardh^ made its existence 
felt, except through a few local meetings. 

Meanwhile, certain Socialist groups who 
claimed to have remained faithful to the true 
doctrine of the movement, as, before the war, it 
had been settled by the general councils of The 
International, arose in force against those of their 


fellows who, abandoning the theory of anti- 
patriotism, had voted credits for the war in the 
allied countries, lent their support to the organisa- 
tion of national defence, and even accepted office 
in the Cabinets of the new Holy Alliance. It was 
this element which, upon the proposal of the 
official leaders of Italian Socialism, endeavoured 
to organise itself and to reconstitute The Inter- 
national towards the end of 1915. 

After long preliminaries, a certain number of 
delegates met together between the 5th and 8th 
of December at Zimmerwald, in the picturesque 
alpine valley of the Kienthal. The object of this 
gathering was "to unite the proletariat in a 
common movement for peace, to create a centre 
of activity, and to recall the workers of the world 
to their historic mission" — that is to say, to the 
war between the classes. Eleven countries were 
represented. German and French delegates pre- 
sented a joint declaration which cast the respon- 
sibility for the war upon the intrigues of 
capitalism, with the complicity of all the Govern- 
ments, and called for energetic action which, 
"paying no regard to the military situation in the 
various countries," should lead to a peace "with- 
out annexations and mthout indemnities." 

This conference set up at Berne, under the 
name of the International Socialist Commission, 
a permanent commission, acting in competition 
with the permanent bureau founded by the 
former International and transferred, after the 
beginning of the war, from Brussels to The 
Hague. This commission publishes a bulletin, at 


rather irregular intervals, which distinguishes 
itself principally b}^ the violence of its attacks 
upon those whom it has named "social patriots." 
Connected with the same organisation there is in 
France a " Committee for the Re-establishment of 
International Relation's " which carries on a fairly 
active propaganda. Here is an example of the 
arguments with which it endeavours to impress 
the working classes: "The self-government of 
the nations is impossible in a society which is 
founded upon distinction of class. Socialism alone 
is able to assure to the people their autonomy 
and independence. It is for this reason that the 
struggle for the autonomy of the people can only 
be the struggle for Socialism." And, elsewhere : 
" ' Civil War and no Holy Alliance' — such must 
be our motto. Nothing but the social revolution 
will be able to ensure a lasting peace and the 
liberation of humanity."* 

It was shortly afterward that the official 
delegates of the German, Austrian, and Hun- 
garian Socialist parties, gathered together at 
Vienna on the 12th and 13th of August, 1915, 
declared themselves strongly hostile to any peace 
which should restore Alsace-Lorraine to France 
or should in any way diminish the territory of 
Germany and her allies. Since that time the 
majorit}^ of the Sozial Demokratie has suffered no 
change in its views upon this subject, for in the 
course of its last General Conference, held in 
Berlin between the 21st and 23rd of September, 

* Bulletin of the International Socialist Commission of 
Berne, No. 2. Pages 2 and 17. 


1916, it reaffirmed, by 251 votes to 5, its adhesion 
to the Imperiahst pohcy, though it is true that a 
considerable number of delegates abstained from 
either taking part in the debate or voting. No 
doubt the motion which was adopted condemns 
all thought of annexation, which, at this time of 
day, is not a particularly meritorious circum- 
stance ; but it adds that any peace which the 
party may demand must guarantee "the political 
independence, the territorial integrity, and the 
economic freedom of Germany." We know the 
import of such language, and we need not be 
surprised to find it again upon the lips of von 
Bethmann-Hollweg or his colleagues. The con- 
ference also calls for the reconstitution of The 
International, so that everywhere and in complete 
harmon}/ the struggle against capitalism may be 
renewed. Nevertheless, a minority has made its 
appearance among the parliamentary representa- 
tives of the party which favours the refusal of 
credits for the war, and this division of opinion 
has become more pronounced of late. The 
minority, which is led by Haese, has not been 
satisfied with rejecting the credits for the con- 
tinuation of the war, but has also formed itself 
into a group, if not into a party, that has a 
separate existence. Would it, however, be ready 
to accept the only conditions under which Ger- 
many may hope for peace, now that reparation 
and guarantees are necessarily in question ? 

As for the Zimmerwaldians, they have met with 
no very warm response from the Socialists of the 
various countries of the Entente, unless we 


except the so-called official Italian Socialists. In 
France they have again and again been disowned 
in the General Council and the National Congress 
of the Socialist Party ; on the last occasion, 
during December, 1916, We remember that in 
the Chamber of Deputies the Extreme Left 
strong!}^ repudiated them on the day when one 
of the "pilgrims of Zimmerwald" had the audacity 
to declare from the tribune his hostility to the 
continuation of the war. In England, the trade 
unions, after rousing themselves to the support of 
conscription in order to strengthen the national 
participation in the military operations, declared 
themselves, in their last congress at Birmingham, 
in favour of the prosecution of the war until a 
decisive victor}/ should be gained, and even 
refused to associate themselves with a proposal 
of the American Confederation of Labour, which 
advised the meeting of a general congress of 
labour associations to discuss the terms of peace, 
side by side with the Diplomatic Conference to 
which this task should be officially entrusted. 

This attitude gains significance from the fact 
that some weeks earlier — about the end of July — 
a conference of the Socialists of the Neutral 
Countries had met at The Hague, and had 
demanded from the bureau of the former Inter- 
national the summoning of a General Assembly 
of the Socialists of all schools and all countries, 
pointing out that neither of the two opposing 
forces could hope for a decisive victory, and that, 
furthermore, it was not desirable that either of 
the adversaries should hold the other at its 


mercy. It is to be observed that Monsieur Emile 
Vandervelde, the President of the International 
SociaUst Bureau, who is also a member of the 
Belgian Cabinet, has never ceased to declare, in 
both his letters and his speeches, that he refuses 
to enter into any discussion of peace with the 
Germans so long as Belgium shall not have 
obtained full reparation and Pan - Germanist 
militarism shall not have been made incapable of 
doing further damage.* 

Again, the leaders of Belgian Socialism, at a 
gathering held in Brussels on the 3rd of May, 
igi6, did not hesitate, though the menace of the 
Prussian hung over them, courageously to make 
the following declaration, the signatories to which 
I may not at the moment name, but the genuine- 
ness of which I can guarantee: "We have no 
authority over the Reunion of Socialists of the 
Neutral Countries, but we may ask those who are 
so good as to take interest in what we do not to 
allow^ themselves to be influenced by the belief 
that we are anxious for peace. . . . No one must 
suppose that it is his duty for our sake to hasten 
matters. We do not ask for peace. The working 
classes of Belgium are resolved to endure any 
misery, to undergo an}'' suffering, if only they may 
not be given a German peace which will not be a 
lasting and a secure one." 

The same note of admirable self-denial and 
confidence is heard in the manifesto which, on the 
5th of December last, while the deportations were at 

* Cf. Invaded Belgium and International Socialism, by 
Emile Vandervelde. Paris, 1917. Pages 170 and 176. 


their height, the delegates of the Belgian labour 
associations, both Socialist, Catholic, and Liberal, 
addressed to the working-men of the whole world. 
This moving appeal ends by this proud assertion : 
"As for us, even if force succeeds for a time in 
reducing our bodies to slavery, our souls will 
never consent to it. We will add this : Let our 
tortures be what they will, we will have no peace 
that does not secure the independence of our 
country and the triumph of justice." 

The idea of compelling the workers of Belgium, 
both those who were and those who were not out 
of employment, to work for the enemy may 
perhaps be traced to the German Socialists : 
"There are in Belgium," said Vorwiirts, in the 
early days of the occupation, "sixty to seventy 
thousand emplo3^es of the railwa}^ postal, and 
telegraph services, whose places it is necessary to 
fill by German workmen. If it were possible to 
set Belgian labour once more to work, an entire 
army corps would be placed at Germany's dis- 
posal."* Already, a little time before, certain 
deputies of the Sozial Demokratie — Wendel, Noske, 
and Koster — had appeared at the Maison du Peuple 
of Brussels in order to undertake a campaign for this 
object. It is unnecessary to say that their proposal 
met with no success, f This is not, by the way, the 
only occasion on which the Socialists of the Kaiser 
have sought to insinuate themselves into the 
counsels of their fellows in the neutral and even 

* See Humanite of the ist of August, 1915. 
t Id., the numbers for the i6th, 17th, and i8th of December, 


in the belligerent countries, there to play the part 
of those tame elephants which are trained to make 
their way among the herds of their wild comrades, 
in order to lead them into the stockade where 
slavery awaits them. 

Happily, we have many grounds for anticipating 
the failure of these intrigues. The other nations 
will easily perceive that under this sudden love 
which Germany is now professing for peace is 
hidden the knowledge of imminent defeat. The 
sense of justice will be outraged in all decent 
people if, after having violated every law of war 
and of humanity, Germany should acquire the 
means of escaping the punishment of her cruelties 
and oppressions. On the other hand, it is certain 
— and this consideration should be enough to 
justify every further effort and sacrifice which 
may be required of us — that if we do not secure 
guarantees against future aggression the whole 
tragedy must begin over again within a few years. 
It would be in vain that Belgium should have 
exposed herself, with open eyes and in spite of the 
odds against her, to all the horrors of an invasion 
which, by its massacres, its devastations, and its 
deportations, recalls the worst excesses of bar- 
barism in the days when the Roman Empire was 
crumbling into ruin ; vain that France, through 
her prodigies of valour, should ^have brought the 
Teuton flood to a standstill upon the banks of the 
Marne and beneath the walls of Verdun ; vain 
that England, with a vigour and resolution with- 
out precedents in her history, should have cast 
nto the struggle the whole of her population that 


was of age to serve ; vain that ten nations should 
have drenched with their most precious blood a 
battle-front that reaches from the North Sea to 
the Caspian, and even to the Pacific. 

Even the neutrals, however great ma}'' be their 
eagerness to hasten the return of peace, cannot 
wish that that peace should be only a clumsy 

What would happen should we be content to 
restore the situation as it existed before the war ? 
Germany — disappointed in her greed, but in no 
way healed of her ambitions, her mind filled 
beyond all else wdth thoughts of revenge, re- 
maining in full possession of her resources and 
her territories— will not fail to embark once more 
upon her military preparations and with greater 
determination than ever before. Her adversaries, 
on their side, taught by experience — an experi- 
ence which has cost them dear — will move 
heaven and earth to follow her, if not to outstrip 
her, in all those regions of activity in which, while 
she was devoting herself exclusive^ to her pre- 
paration for war, they had allowed themselves to 
fall behind. Europe will thus witness the con- 
tinuation, to an unimaginable extent, of that 
ruinous rivalry of armaments, which will quickly 
place the nations, still but a little recovered from 
their losses, in the dilemma of either rushing on into 
bankruptcy or of beginning the war again in order 
to determine, once and for all, whether or not 
Germany is to dominate the earth. Is there a 
pacifist of any honesty, no matter to what country 
he belongs, who does not perceive that such a 


peace must be utterly hostile to both his hopes 
and his aspirations ? 

It may be objected that if Germany does not 
modify her character, the Allies will only have 
postponed the daj^ of reckoning, and that the 
time must surely come when the conquered, 
having healed their wounds, will find themselves 
ready to renew their aggression. It is certain that 
no one can dream of annihilating, nor even of 
permanently suppressing or dismembering, a race 
which numbers more than sixty-five million souls. 
But, immense though the recuperative force of 
Germany undoubtedly is, we may consider what 
her situation will be during man}^ long years, if 
only the conditions which justice demands for her 
be imposed upon her and her allies : complete 
reparation for the damage they have caused and 
the abandonment of territory wherein they have 
oppressed populations of alien blood, without 
mentioning the fate which is reserved for the 
colonies by which the increase of their fleet is 
justified and for the fleet which justifies the 
extension of those colonies. When we consider 
that Germany, though victorious, has required 
forty years in order to place herself in a condition 
to renew the war of 1870, we may well ask our- 
selves how much time she will need, if she is 
conquered, in order to embark once again upon 
the path along which her bellicose tendencies urge 
her. And thereupon the question arises whether, 
by that more or less distant time, war will still 
be possible. 

A Durable Peace 

THE nineteenth century was characterised by 
the parallel advance of two tendencies con- 
tradictory in appearance, but really to be 
regarded as the counterpoises and complements 
of each other. These are Nationalism and Inter- 
nationalism ; that is to say, on the one hand, the 
aspirations of the people to group themselves 
according to their affinities — national, ethical, 
historical, or of choice ; on the other hand, the 
development of institutions which form the com- 
mon heritage of man, especially those which tend 
to introduce into the Society of Nations the law 
and order which already regulate the relations of 
individuals within each separate State. I have 
said enough about international reform, and have 
shown how the chief obstacle which it encountered 
was the resistance of Pan-Germanism. As for the 
sentiment of nationality, Germany, who has made 
use of it in order to ensure her own unity, has 
become, in agreement with her two chief allies 
— Austria and Turkey — the no less irreconcilable 
adversary of this, too.* 

Ever since the first months of the war I have 

* Mr. Ramsay Muir, Professor of Modern History at 
Manchester, has written upon this subject a book which can 
be most confidently recommended for the conciseness and 
logical character of its conclusions, Nationalism and Inter- 
nationalism. London : Constable, 1916. 



nursed a dream which I have succeeded in trans- 
lating into the terms of the accompanying map. 
That with which I am here concerned is nothing 
less than to procure the coincidence of the political 
frontiers of the countries of Europe with the lines 
which mark off her various nationalities from one 


I 1 1 — I — _» 

too 200 300 400 km 

!■ ■ Li mites d'etats. 

another. To achieve this result it would be 
enough to break the artificial chains which bind 
to the Central Empires a dozen provinces which 
would thereafter be free to follow the guidance 
of their own national affinities and antipathies. 
Is it necessary to cite them at length ? Alsace- 


Lorraine, Trieste and the Trentino, Transylvania, 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Galicia and the Duchy 
of Posen, the Banat and the Bukhovina, the 
Duchy of Schleswig and the Walloon cantons 
of the Rhenish provinces — to say nothing of the 
other liberations which the collapse of Turkey 
would make possible ; that, for instance, of the 
unfortunate Armenia. It would perhaps mean, 
within a longer or shorter period, the independence 
of Hungary and Bohemia. 

All these rearrangements would together form 
a tribute to that principle of self-government 
which, having penetrated everywhere throughout 
the political organisation of civilised communities 
logically points, in the International Order, to the 
right of populations to dispose of their own 
destinies. It would also mean the disappearance 
of a source of trouble which, if it be allowed to 
continue, must make precarious the future of every 
kind of peace. It would, lastly, be to set about 
the discovery of the best foundation for the 
establishment of a final order in the equilibrium 
of Europe.* 

May I add that I have never dreamed of a 

* In a speech, delivered on the 28th of May, 1916, at the 
banquet of the League to enforce Peace, the President of the 
United States of America declared his programme of inter- 
national organisation in these terms : — -(i) Every people has 
the right to choose its own rulers. (2) Small States have the 
same right to see their sovereignty and territorial integrity 
respected as the great nations. (3) The world must be 
preserved from every rupture of peace which originates in 
aggression and contempt for the rights of peoples and nations. 

There is no reason to suppose that since then Mr. Wilson 
has altered his opinion on these three points. 


dismemberment that should be carried any 
further than this ? Let the conquerors seek 
complementary guarantees in the transfer of 
colonies, the confiscation of machinery, the res- 
titution of merchant fleets and industrial machines, 
without mentioning still other measures of a 
military and economic character — I have nothing 
to say against this if circumstances favour it. 
That they should support the aspirations of 
certain secondary States, who should propose to 
themselves to throw off the Prussian yoke, would 
manifestly be a wise policy. But I should pity the 
nations who should think to increase their power 
or prosperity b}^ creating upon their borders, by 
the annexation of German provinces, permanent 
focuses of hate and trouble. May the precedent 
of Alsace-Lorraine serve as a lesson ! 

But is it possible that my dream should come 
true, and to what extent ? 

Two new factors have recently been added to 
the situation. On the one hand, the vague Note of 
Germany demanding that pourparlers for the dis- 
cussion of the terms of peace should be initiated ; 
on the other, the message of Mr. Wilson requesting 
the belligerents to inform him of their aims. 
We may ignore the first of these, which simply 
exposes the growing weakness of Germany's 
resistance, and has been rejected by the Allies 
on good grounds. The case of the other is 
different, since, owing to the favourable reception 
which it has met from the nations who are not 
directly engaged in the struggle, it marks perhaps 
a first step towards the constitution of a League 


of Neutral Powers with which we might eventually 
have to reckon. 

We naturally regret that these nations who, 
upon their own showing, are exclusively inspired 
by the love of peace and an anxious care for the 
welfare of humanity, should not have manifested 
their sentiments when Germany let loose the 
scourge of war and trampled International law 
under foot ; and, similarly, that to-day they still 
seem desirous, while calling upon the name of law, 
of maintaining the balance of power between the 
authors and the victims of these outrages. I 
believe, however, in the sincerity of their pro- 
testations, when they propose to themselves for 
their ultimate aim, over and beyond the re-estab- 
lishment of peace, the creation of an organisation 
w^hich will make impossible the return of similar 
cataclysms ; and, even through the red fog which 
envelops us to-day, I seem to catch a gleam of 
consolation from this unanimous desire not only 
to put an end to this war, but to all wars. What 
we have to ask of these nations, above everything, 
is that they should clearly understand that no 
lasting peace is possible that is not founded upon 
justice ; that is to say, upon adequate reparation 
for the past and effective guarantees for the 

I would add that the map shown above con- 
tains yet another warning upon which the 

* There is no need to point out that, since this was written, 
the actual intervention of the United States in the war has 
somewhat altered the aspect of things and strengthened tne 
hopes of those who look for a lasting and rightful peace. 


pacifists and neutral nations will do well to 
reflect, if they feel in themselves any inclination 
to believe that a peace which shall be concluded 
or imposed upon the basis of the status quo ante 
helium can lead to the firm establishment of 
European societ}/ according to the principles of 
law. The first condition of such an establishment 
will be to guarantee to the contracting States the 
integrity of the territories which they possessed 
before the outbreak of war, and protection, at 
the same time, against all foreign interference in 
their domestic concerns ; the Courts of Arbitra- 
tion being permitted to intervene only in inter- 
national disputes. A glance at the distribution of 
races in Europe will be enough to make evident 
what important sections of the civilised world 
would, lacking such condition, be handed over to 
the uncontrolled and undiluted mercies of the 
gaolers of Prussia, the hangmen of Austria, and 
the butchers of Turkey, We must admit that this 
would be a strange corollary to a movement that 
had been begun in the names of justice and 

I am well aware that it is possible to draw up, 
in the admirable language of diplomacy, clauses 
which shall guarantee to all the subjects of the 
confederated States the full enjoyment of their 
civil and religious liberties by which the rights 
of man are represented. It is this which the third 
article of the Treaty of Berlin of the 13th of July, 
1878, attempted to do for that kaleidoscopic 
medley of races which inhabits the Balkan Penin- 
sula. The year had not run out before the 


persecutions had recommenced more gaily than 
ever. It^would be the same with guarantees, of 
whose observance the only custodians should be 
the very Governments who would stand to gain 
by their violation. 

We may be certain that there will be no hope 
of the birth of a new order, nor even of a lasting 
pacification, in a peace that shall be founded upon 
the status quo or upon anything resembling it. 

A Definitive Peace 

FROM the fact that the pacifists cherished, 
up to the very eve of the war, illusions which 
were cruelly dissipated by events ; from the 
fact that Germany has torn up treaties which her 
own signature had clothed with solemn authority, 
violated every article of the code of international 
law, and in the course of her invasions brought 
back the excesses of barbarism to earth, must we 
conclude — as we may too often be tempted to do — 
that the cause of international law has received 
a blow from which it will not recover ; that 
the modifications which we had supposed the 
ruthlessness of war had undergone are no 
more than a farce ; and that the appeal 
to arms must once more and for ever be- 
come the final method of settling international 
differences ? 

This conclusion might be a just one, had 
Germany been victorious. In that case, it is true, 
it is her conception of the right of the strongest 
which would have had the upper hand in the 
world, and the only lasting peace for which we 
could have hoped would be a Pax Germanica, 
founded, like the Pax Romana of former times, 
upon the complete subjection of the other nations. 
But the victory of the Decuple Alliance will have 
the contrary effect of re-establishing in our public 



law the principles which have been misunder- 
stood or violated by the barbarians of the twen- 
tieth century. We ask for no other proof of this 
than the refusal of the Allied Governments to 
undertake reprisals beyond what strict military 
necessity requires. Much more, it is alone out of 
their victory that there can come any decisive 
movement in the direction of more happily 
organised international relations. 

The efforts of juridical pacifism have already 
secured to us, in spite of the obstacles raised by 
the German Government, an international code — 
which has never paused in its development — and 
an international tribunal charged with the duty 
of giving effect to the principles of that code ; 
that is to say, two out of the three institu- 
tions without which the mechanism of every 
regularly organised society must come to a 
halt. Unfortunately, the third is still to seek 
— the authority ; that .is to say, the provision 
of the force necessary for the execution of 
judicial decisions. 

All those who are concerned to bring about the 
abolition of war — jurists, politicians, diplomatists, 
socialists, and sociologists; above all, women, 
wives and mothers, whose eternal attitude to this 
question the Latin poet expressed when he 
denounced bella matrihus detestata — must fully 
understand that this problem of problems will 
never be solved by sentimental considerations or 
by the simple pressure of public opinion, any more 
than by the organisation through the fortune 
of war of a single State keeping its neighbours 


in order. The solution will only be found in the 
growth of solidarity between peoples who, while 
they respect one another's independence, will 
agree to make such sacrifices as may be necessary 
to replace force by justice in their mutual rela- 

I have here no intention to use such sounding 
words as Perpetual Peace or even the United 
States of Europe. It is better to place our reliance 
in practical reforms. And of these would it not 
be one, and one of the utmost value, if the nations 
who are allied against the amxbitions of Germany, 
after having brought her to reason, should bind 
themselves by a formal treaty to take up arms 
collectively against any State, though it be one 
of the signatories themselves, who shall refuse 
to refer an international difference to a Court of 
Arbitration, or who, after having submitted 
itself to such a tribunal, shall desire to escape the 
execution of judgment ? It is probable that the 
"Holy Alliance" thus constituted would quickly 
receive the support of neutral countries, who have 
themselves too greatly suffered during the present 
war not to hail with joy this specific against a 
further outbreak. 

Each contracting party would be able to main- 
tain its military and naval forces — at least, in a 
proportion which should be^ agreed upon in 
common. But these forces would be necessarily 
reduced to the sim.ple status of an international 
gendarmerie, as would war itself to a formx of 
punitive expedition, justified by the casus 
foederis. The most ardent pacifist cannot reason- 


ably look for more, having regard to the present 
state of the development of society.* 

An eminent diplomatist who is at the same time 
a writer of note, Monsieur Gabriel Hanotaux, has 
lately published in the Revue des Deux Mondes 
an article upon "The Problem of Peace," in which, 
while he recommends a solution of the same 
nature, he reminds us that, already in the eigh- 
teenth century, the Treaty of Westphalia had 
attempted to establish a new balance of power in 
Europe by means of a similar organisation : "All 
the contracting parties bind themselves to main- 
lain each and all of the arrangements effected by 
the treaty. And if it should happen that any of 
these arrangements has been violated, the offended 
party shall endeavour first of all to turn the 
offending from his purpose, either by submitting 
the difference to amiable settlement or by recourse 
to law. But if the question shall be settled by 
neither of these means, each of the contracting 
parties shall be bound to join his advice and his 
strength to those of the injured party and to take 
up arms to repel the injustice." "Thus," adds 
Monsieur Hanotaux, "a European force would be 
constituted which would lend a permanent 
sanction to the decisions of the law — a force 

* In his recent volume, Magnissima Charta (Boston, 1916), 
Monsieur La Fontaine, a Belgian Senator, and the President 
of the International Bureau of Peace, outHnes the organisa- 
tion of an armed force, which should remain at the disposition 
of the International Courts, and whose duty it should be to 
undertake the execution of the federal judgments whenever 
all methods of concihation and indirect coercion should 
have failed. 


which has hitherto been wanting, and whose 
support the platonic resolutions of The Hague 
Conference have strikingly lacked.'* 

It is difficult to see in the future any more 
favourable opportunity for initiating a reform 
through which, in the words of Monsieur 
Hanotaux, "an organised, a better Europe," will 
emerge out of this dreadful crisis. 

The armies of the Allies are fighting with" equal 
discipline and heroism, and the memory of their 
deeds will live for ever in the hearts of generations 
who shall be free from the nightmare with which 
the adventure of Pan-Germanism has burdened 
the world. But joined to this sentiment of admira- 
tion and of gratitude there is another which we 
shall feel in no less a lively fashion, more especially 
when the first intoxication of triumph shall have 
given way to a perception of the realities of life 
and of what the future is to bring. This is 
the earnest desire to prevent the return of 
a catastrophe which represents a legacy be- 
queathed by barbarism, and one by which 
its hateful customs are given a new birth. On the 
other hand, will the neutrals, who have all more 
or less been affected by the repercussion of the 
war, and who had already for the most part been 
won over to the cause of compulsory and general 
arbitration — will they be^ able to refuse their 
adherence to an international union which will 
guarantee to them security together with inde- 
pendence and peace ? 

The conquerors will emerge severely tested 
from their fier}^ trial, like those legendary knights 


who won their victory over the destroying dragon 
only at the cost of innumerable wounds. What- 
ever may be the amount of the indemnities to be 
obtained from the vanquished, in whatever wa}^ 
they may be distributed, the fortunes of every 
one, save of a few speculators, will have been 
seriously reduced ; taxation will increase every- 
where so greatly that the very springs of wealth 
will be affected ; there will be few homes that will 
not mourn an empty place by their fireside ; 
hundreds of thousands of cripples will for long 
years recall to our streets the memory of the 
struggle and its horrors. In exchange for this, 
what are the Allied Governments to offer to their 
peoples ? Never, perhaps, will they encounter 
conditions more favourable to the foundation of 
that reign of peace imagined by the prophet, 
when, indeed, the wolf will not be seen living 
harmoniously by the side of the lamb, since this is 
against the laws of Nature, but when the sword 
shall have been beaten into the plough-share, for 
this depends upon liberty and human reason. 

"You ask me what it is that Germany desires," 
wrote Professor Oswald, during the first months 
of the war, in a Swedish review. And he answered 
himself thus : " She desires to organise a Europe 
who has never hitherto been organised." This 
famous Pan-German chemist was right when he 
pointed out what was watiting. His mistake lay 
in his belief that, in order to supply her want, 
Europe has any longer need of Germany. 


Already, with regard to this matter, we possess 
the promise of statesmen, leaders of nations, who 
will not fail to keep their word. "Peace," said 
Monsieur Briand, in Ma}^, 1916, "must be no 
empty formula. It must be founded upon inter- 
national law and guaranteed by an authority 
which no country will be able to assail. Such a 
peace will be like a sun to humanity, and will 
give a security to the nations wherein they shall 
be able to work and to develop each its own 
noblest qualities." 

Coming still closer to the question, Lord Grey, 
in his speech of the 24th of October, 1916, to the 
foreign journalists in England, after having sup- 
ported the idea of creating, when the war is over, 
a union of nations with the object of assuring the 
continuance of peace, added, for the benefit of the 
neutral countries, that in order to make such a 
union effective the nations who give it their 
adherence must be prepared to employ force, if 
necessary, to ensure the observance of treaties. 
"There must be no end to this war, no peace 
except a peace which is going to ensure that the 
nations of Europe live in the future free from that 
shadow {i.e. of Prussian militarism) in the open air 
and in the light of freedom." Here speaks the 
true pacifism. 

It is the same spirit which breathes in the joint 
reply of the Allies to the Note of Mr. Wilson which 
requested them to make known to him the objects 
for which they are fighting : "The Allied Govern- 
ments declare their whole-hearted agreement with 
the proposal to create a League of Nations which 


shall assure peace and justice throughout the 
world. They recognise all the benefits which will 
accrue to the cause of humanity and civilisation 
from the institution of international agreements 
•designed to prevent violent conflicts between 
nations, and so framed as to provide the sanctions 
necessary to their enforcement, lest an illusory 
security should serve merely to facilitate fresh 
acts of aggression. But a discussion of future 
arrangements for assuring a durable peace pre- 
supposes a satisfactory settlement of the present 

Indeed, it is a condition precedent to any step 
towards this goal that German militarism should be 
removed out of the way, and hence it is that those 
pacifists who, in the neutral as in the belligerent 
countries, call for any other conclusion to the 
war are blind to that which is possible or else are 
traitors to their own flag and subverters of 
their own cause. 

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